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
"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
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