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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 19th (All times eastern)

San Jose Sharks (43-17-10) at Calgary Flames (35-26-9), 9 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Calgary Flames will continue their postseason push tonight, when they host the sliding San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome.

While the Sharks are tied for first in the West with 96 points, the Flames enter Friday just one point behind Detroit for the eighth and final seed in the conference. The Red Wings are in action tonight in Edmonton.

The Flames and Sharks have split two games this year, but Calgary will be seeking revenge from a 9-1 blowout loss it was dealt the last times the clubs met on January 18 in San Jose. The Flames have taken six of nine overall in the series and the Sharks have dropped three of their last five in Calgary.

Calgary ended a two-game slide on Wednesday with a big regulation win at Colorado. Rene Bourque tallied twice and Vesa Toskala made 32 saves as the Flames clipped the Avalanche, 3-2, at Pepsi Center.

Eric Nystrom picked up the other score for the Flames, who won for the fifth time in seven tilts to give them 79 points on the year.

"Overall, it was a solid road win. We knew coming in we had to play well, and we're going to have to do the same from here on out," noted Flames head coach Brent Sutter. "Every game from now on is big for us."

The Flames played their second straight game without forward Christopher Higgins, who is suffering from a foot injury and is questionable for tonight. Higgins has two goals and an assist in 12 games since coming to Calgary in a trade with the New York Rangers.

Calgary is just 17-16-3 as the host this year and has lost nine of its last 14 games at the Saddledome.

San Jose comes into tonight on a downswing having lost three straight in regulation during an 0-3-1 slide. The Sharks were destroyed 8-2 in Dallas on Tuesday and then were dealt a 3-2 setback Thursday in Vancouver.

The slide has helped Chicago tie San Jose for the conference lead and has also allowed Phoenix to pull within three points of the Sharks for first place in the Pacific Division.

Ryan Kesler and Alexander Edler each had a goal and an assist to lead the Canucks to Thursday's victory at GM Place. Joe Pavelski had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who fell behind 2-0 in the first period and never recovered.

"In the third period, we got a couple goals. We got to find something; we start taking a few more chances, and it led to one goal there. But it's tough to come back from two or three goals," Pavelski said.

Ryan Clowe also lit the lamp. Evgeni Nabokov turned aside 23-of-26 shots in defeat.

The Sharks have an excellent 21-11-2 record as the guest this year, but have struggled so far with an 0-3-0 mark on a current six-game road trip. San Jose has lost five of its last six away from Silicon Valley.

03/19 10:51:56 ET


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