Sharks overpower visiting Flames
The Calgary Flames' recent offensive surge ended Saturday night with a 4-1 loss to the defensively sound San Jose Sharks.
Winger Milan Michalek scored the game-winning goal in the second period and goaltender Evgeni Nabokov steadied San Jose's victory with 21 saves.
The Flames arrived in San Jose on Friday after spending two days stranded in Denver where a snowstorm resulted in the cancellation of Thursday's game against the Colorado Avalanche.
Prior to Saturday night's contest, Calgary scored 24 goals in its last six games, but concluded its five-game road trip with a disappointing 2-3 record. The extra day of rest didn't seem to help as the Flames (17-14-3) only scored one goal on 22 shots.
The normally stellar Mikka Kiprusoff looked shaky in net for the Flames, allowing three goals while making a critical turnover on San Jose's third goal.
The Sharks (25-11-0), who trail the Anaheim Ducks by 10 points in the Pacific Division, earned their fifth win in the last seven games.
The Flames opened the scoring with only 2:05 remaining in the first period on a short-handed goal following a San Jose turnover.
Defenceman Andrew Ference found a wide open Matthew Lombardion a breakaway,which the centre converted into a goal by slipping the puck between the legs of Nabokov.
It was Lombardi's third short-handed goal of the season.
After several minutes of end-to-end action which saw both teams miss golden opportunities, the Sharks tied the game 1-1 at 6:59 of the second.
San Jose centre Marcel Goc broke into Calgary's end with a burst of speed and snapped a bad-angle shot over the blocker of Kiprusoff.
Michalek put the Sharks on top 2-1 on the power play three minutes and 15 secondslater, following some great work around the boards. Defenceman Matthew Carle's shot trickled through the right pad of Kiprusoff that Michalek was able to swipe into the open net.
The Sharks continued to press Calgary in the third period, which led to a two-goal lead at 3:22 after a Kiprusoff giveaway. The netminder's clearing attempt was intercepted by Mark Smith, who calmly scored his third goal of the season past a diving Kiprusoff.
The Flames' best chance for a goal in third happened with 1:57 remaining when Jarome Iginla tipped a shot that hit the inside of the post, but the puck slid across the goal-line into the waiting glove of Nabokov.
Defenceman Scott Hannan then iced the game with his first goal of the season into the empty net at 19:18.