Instant Replay: Flames slip late goal past Dell, beat Sharks

Instant Replay: Flames slip late goal past Dell, beat Sharks


CALGARY – Throughout the first half, the Sharks have avoided giving backup goalie Aaron Dell any overly difficult starts. His first five all came against Metropolitan Division teams that aren’t considered Stanley Cup contenders.

They made it especially hard on him Wednesday night in Calgary, though. Not only was he thrown into the middle of a key division battle, the Sharks coaching staff apparently screwed up the roster sheet before puck drop, scratching Mirco Mueller instead of Paul Martin, who was likely suffering from the effects of a blocking a shot on Tuesday in Edmonton.

Mueller lasted just 6:36 into the first period before the officials huddled together and realized that the defenseman was ineligible to play. San Jose was down to five defensemen for the rest of the night, including Tim Heed, a rookie making his NHL debut.

Whether that had an affect on the game is up for debate, but Dell allowed a bad angle shot by Dougie Hamilton to get through his five hole with 2:19 to go in regulation. The Flames won, 3-2.

Dell made a stop on Matthew Tkachuk moments prior to Hamilton finding the puck, but the Flames defenseman managed to pot his seventh of the season on a shot from along the wall.

The Sharks’ split their two-game road trip through Alberta, beating the Oilers on Tuesday. They are 4-3 in the second half of back-to-backs.

The Flames improved to 5-3-0 since the Christmas break, and remain in fourth place in the Pacific.

Prior to Hamilton’s goal, Mikkel Boedker was awarded a penalty shot with 5:27 to go, when T.J. Brodie hooked him on a breakaway. The winger, who recorded a hat trick on Tuesday in Edmonton, was denied by Chad Johnson while trying to slip it through the goalie’s five hole.

Boedker had one more chance on a breakaway with eight seconds left, but Johnson turned that aside, as well.

The Sharks took leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Calgary responded each time to knot the score at 2-2 at the end of the second period.

Logan Couture opened the scoring on the power play. He got the blade of his stick on a Brent Burns puck from the point, redirecting it through Johnson at 9:40 of the first.

The Flames tied it on a Michael Frolik rebound goal at 11:22, but Burns made it 2-1 on a wrist shot that made its way through traffic at 16:06.

Calgary got the only goal of the second period, and it came on a late power play. Brenden Dillon went off for interference, which led to Tkachuk tipping a Mikael Backund shot past Dell at 19:28.

The Sharks and Flames split their first two games, both at SAP Center. They don’t meet again until March 31 at the Saddledome.

Special teams:
San Jose scored just its sixth road power play goal in the last 20 games, finishing 1-for-2. The Sharks brought a 5-for-56 cold streak on the road into the Saddledome.

Calgary also went 1-for-2, including a late advantage with just 38 seconds to go. The Sharks have been shorthanded just five times in the last three games, going 4-for-5.

In goal:
Dell, who hails from nearly Airdrie, Alberta, had a large contingent of friends and family at the game. He allowed three goals on 28 shots, and fell to 4-2-0 on the season.

On one sequence midway through the the third period, and after not seeing any rubber in the frame up to that point, he made three saves on Matt Stajan, Tkachuk and Garnet Hathaway to keep it a 2-2 game.

Johnson got the win with 25 saves, including the two clutch late ones on Boedker.

Heed, who has been on recall for the past three games, skated mostly with Dillon. He saw time on the second power play unit, too.

Martin missed his first game of the season. It’s not likely that whatever injury he’s dealing with is serious, as he took warmups.

Flames forward Michael Ferland was unable to finish the game due to an injury in the second period.

Up next:
The Sharks return home to play the Blues on Saturday, in what will be St. Louis’ first appearance at SAP Center since last year’s Western Conference Final. The Blues beat the Sharks on Nov. 17 at Scottrade Center, 3-2.

They remain home for a rare matinee game on Monday, Martin Luther King Day, against Winnipeg.

Sharks on longest winning streak since 2013 after extinguishing Flames


Sharks on longest winning streak since 2013 after extinguishing Flames


SAN JOSE -- Evander Kane scored twice to give him six goals in his past two games against Calgary and the San Jose Sharks won their seventh straight game, beating the Flames 5-1 on Saturday.

Kane followed up his four-goal performance in Calgary a week ago with another impactful performance, scoring a short-handed goal in the second period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead and an insurance goal in the third. He also used his physical play to get into a scrum with Mikael Backlund and a fight with Travis Hamonic.

The Sharks improved to 10-2 since acquiring Kane just before the trade deadline last month, including this current streak that is the longest for San Jose since a seven-gamer from March 25 to April 5, 2013.

Brenden DillonJannik Hansen and Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks, who moved six points ahead of Los Angeles in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Kings played later Saturday in Edmonton. Martin Jones made 37 saves.

Michael Stone scored the lone for the Flames, who have lost five straight to fall out of the playoff race. Calgary trails Anaheim by nine points for the final playoff spot with just six games remaining. David Rittich made 28 saves.

The Flames were controlling the play in the second period before Kane's goal turned the momentum back in San Jose's favor. Calgary held San Jose without a shot on goal for more than six minutes to start the period and had just started a power play when Kane struck for his goal.

Chris Tierney skated into the offensive zone and held the puck near the net as Johnny Gaudreau skated past Kane, who was set up in front of the crease. Tierney then slid a pass to Kane, who knocked it into the open net for his sixth goal with the Sharks and 26th on the season.

Kane then had his run-ins with the Flames late in the second and early in the third before the Sharks broke it open with goals from Braun and Kane midway through the third period.

Dillon, who assisted on Kane's second goal, then got into a fight late in the game with Garnet Hathaway to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.

The Sharks started fast and scored twice in a span of 74 seconds midway through the first period. San Jose took advantage of a turnover by Calgary in the offensive zone to go on a rush. Timo Meier fed Chris Tierney, who gave a behind-the-back pass to Dillon, who beat Rittich from the high slot.

The Sharks kept the pressure up and quickly added to the lead when Hansen redirected Brent Burns' point shot off defenseman Mark Jankowski's skate and into the Calgary net.

The Flames got one back with a blast from the point through traffic by Stone.

NOTES: The Sharks honored Jonathan Cheechoo, who recently announced his retirement. ... Burns' assist on Hansen's goal was his 49th of the season, breaking the record he set two years ago for Sharks defensemen. ... Flames F Matthew Tkachuk (upper body) and D TJ Brodie did not make the trip for the two games in California.


Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Monday

Sharks: Visit Chicago on Monday.

Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return


Paul Martin rewarding Peter DeBoer's faith in NHL return

When Sharks defenseman Paul Martin confirmed reports in January that he was willing to go elsewhere for more playing time, his head coach was insistent that the team would need the veteran blueliner. 

"I really believe we need eight NHL defenseman here," DeBoer told reporters in January (via The Mercury News). "If it happens that he isn't here, then that'll be disappointing for us. I'm not hoping that's where this goes. I'm hoping this goes to a place where he can maybe go down, play some games and keep himself ready, because I know we're going to need eight defensemen."

That's pretty much exactly what's happened.

After clearing waivers in January and playing with the AHL's San Jose Barracuda, Martin was called up ahead of the Sharks' four-game road trip at the end of February. He did not play until last Saturday in Vancouver, when an upper-body injury to rookie defenseman Joakim Ryan, whose play pushed Martin down the depth chart in the first place, created an opening alongside Brent Burns. 

Martin's now played three straight games with Burns, his defensive partner for the vast majority of the previous two seasons. It's the first time Martin's played in three consecutive NHL games all season, and although he hasn't played much (11:53 in average time-on-ice), he's acquitted himself nicely in a sheltered role.

His five-on-five possession numbers (52.78 percent corsi-for; 53.33 percent fenwick-for) are the second-best marks among Sharks defensemen over the last three games. Burns, too, has posted better possession numbers with Martin (47.62 percent corsi-for; 50 percent fenwick-for) during the last three contests than without his longtime partner (43.40 percent corsi-for; 41.67 percent fenwick-for). 

The Sharks have also outscored (3-0) and outchanced (17-16) opponents with Martin on the ice, neither of which was the case in Martin's first three appearances earlier this season. The former is owed to a decent amount of puck luck, as the Sharks have converted on 17.65 percent of their shots with him on the ice, but the latter is an extension of his solid underlying numbers. 

Martin's played the least amount of total minutes among Sharks defensemen since coming back, even as Marc-Edouard Vlasic missed time in two of the last three games, and has barely been used in special teams. His days of averaging 20-or-more minutes a night are likely behind him, but the 37-year-old has played well in a limited role. 

Considering Martin's NHL days appeared to be behind him as recently as last month, his play has been a pleasant surprise. With the exception of his head coach, that is.