Nabokov was particularly good between the pipes. making highlight-reel saves on dead-on shots from Cory Sarich and ex-Shark Owen Nolan.
The save on Nolan was especially important as the puck was headed in the goal late in the game and certainly would have lifted the charging Flames.
Although the Sharks played well, the Flames are a formidable opponent. Goalie Mikka Kiprusoff continued his strong play stopping anything he could see.
Joe Pavelski caught him off guard in the second period with an unorthodox semi-spin around shot from near the corner. Kiprusoff, not seeing the shot at first, tried to get in position but it was too late and the puck slid in.
The second period was highlighted by the Flames hurting themselves by committing six straight penalties. The Sharks would eventually make them pay for it with Torrey Mitchell notching his first NHL playoff goal when he buried a rebound in front.
Like many Shark fans, I was nervous at the start of this game. The bad execution on Wednesday night along with the prospect of going down two games to none was enough to give you agida.
But on this night, the Sharks did not let us fans down.
They played a good physical game, got lots of shots on net, and kept their collective composure. Now we have a series!
However the Sharks have to keep up the constant effort. They need to move the puck quick and make good, quick decisions in all facets of the game. They need to find a way to put the body on Iginla.
In addition they need to find a way to get shots on net that Kiprusoff can’t get a good look at. More traffic in front, more body checks on the tenacious Dion Phanuef, more in-your-face hockey.
The Sharks can’t rely on the Flames taking so many penalties in a row. You know that The Hitler (Google it if you don’t believe me) of Hockey, Mike Kennan, won’t stand for it.
I keep hearing Drew Ramenda say that when the Sharks are pushed they should push back.
Well perhaps. What if the Sharks took a different approach and pushed first? Playing a team as tough as the Flames in Calgary on Sunday that is exactly what I would like to see.