(photo: Jack Lima Photography)
The air was sucked out of the Tank rather quickly though, as the Flames got on the board first – and fast. Defenseman Dennis Wideman wristed one from 52 feet only 40 seconds in. The Sharks would try and get that one back as Jiri Hudler took a trip to the penalty box. Near the end of the power play, it was a shorty by Joe Colborne, who also assisted on Wideman’s goal, that would sink the Sharks two in the hole. Rounding out the first with only four shots on net, this was a period the Sharks wished they could get back.
“Just a poor first twenty minutes. When you dig yourself a hole, you get frustrated, and we weren’t able to find our way out completely,” commented Tommy Wingels after the game. On the other end, Flames head coach Bob Harley stated that “it was one of our best first periods of the season.”
The Sharks decided to come out into the second in the same fashion as the Flames did in the first. Only 12 seconds in, Logan Couture sniped one in and cut the Flames’ lead in half. Shortly after, the Flames headed to the sin bin again and the Sharks got another chance on the man advantage. Joe Thornton redeemed first period’s dismal power play, which had only one shot, and tied the game on this one. Joe Pavelski and Patrick Marleau got the assists on Thornton’s goal, each of whom registered two assists on the night – and it was Marleau’s 46th time in his career that he’s had a two-assist night. His first assist on the night was on Couture’s goal.
Building off the scoring momentum, it was Melker Karlsson who got the go-ahead goal, a deflection from Pavelski (number 2 assist on the night), to make it 3-2. Karlsson has been phenomenal in his rookie year, as this was his seventh goal in 17 games. Six of those goals have all come in January, with a franchise rookie record streak of 5 goals in 5 games earlier in the month.
It wouldn’t take long for the Flames to tie it up. A wrister from Hudler made this an even game once again, almost halfway into the second. This tying goal led to a (shortened) overtime. Twenty four seconds into the extra period, Sean Monahan backhanded a shot in past Antti Niemi, winning the game for Calgary.
Some positives on the night for the Sharks included their comeback from a two-goal deficit. That’s the quality of their character that they must be consistent with. Also, they were perfect on the penalty kill in this game, with two, and the previous three games, killing off all 11 penalties in the last four games.
Coach Todd McLellan said it best though, in a post game interview:
“We got what we deserved. And we’re probably fortunate we got that. The start was unacceptable…And sometimes it’s only half a team, but tonight it was a full team. So we’re fortunate to have a point. We need to realize that. And yes, we did come back. Yes, we pushed. All good signs. The start itself was unacceptable.”
For their third home game on this seven-game homestand, the Sharks will face the New Jersey Devils Monday night and the all-important division rivals Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday, followed by the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday. With aggressive opponents ahead, the Sharks have their work cut out for them. Consistency and the ability to come from behind seem to be the common themes in the Sharks’ play as of late. And even though they lost in overtime in this one, I think that they do have the confidence needed to earn W’s for the tough schedule ahead.