The push for the playoffs continues for the Calgary Flames and they had a very tough test ahead of them with this one. This game against the San Jose Sharks meant so much. The Western Conference leaders are a tall order, but on this night the Calgary Flames got the best of them. Besides for the playoffs in mind, they also had to have revenge in the back of their heads thinking back to the 9-1 loss handed to the Flames by the Sharks earlier this season.
Miikka Kiprusoff got the call for this game. After how they literally abused Kiprusoff in their last meeting you knew he was going to come out strong and make sure the Sharks would not get the win. He did not disappoint as he refused to allow San Jose the comeback in this hockey game.
Let’s check out what went down in this hockey game.
Calgary would make their presence felt early on. At 3: 24 they had already scored their first goal of the game. Captain Calgary, Jarome Iginla had put the puck in the back of the net to open the scoring for the Flames. The assists came from Matt Stajan and Mark Giordano. So with the early goal the Flames had a 1-0 lead over the Sharks, but things were just getting started.
It wouldn’t take Calgary too long to put another past Nabokov. At 8: 52 Daymond Langkow added another to make the score 2-0 for the Calgary Flames. The assist came from Niklas Hagman. So with that the Flames had built themselves a 2 goal lead and had momentum on their side. So that would be how the 1st period would wrap up, 2-0 for the Flames.
With the start of the 2nd period the Calgary Flames and San Jose Sharks had similar things on their minds. It would go something like, “Don’t give the other team any goals and get some of your own in the back of the opponent’s net.” Both had to do the same thing, but for different reasons. For Calgary it was to maintain the lead, but fr San Jose it was to destroy the lead.
San Jose would open the scoring in the 2nd period first with a goal at 2: 41 into the period. Dany Heatley would put it past Miikka Kiprusoff to cut the lead to 1 goal. The assists came from Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. So with that it was 2-1 which means one bad bounce or one awkward looking shot could change the game for good.
The Calgary Flames were not ready to let that happen though, they would not give in. At 9: 04 the Flames added another goal to make the score 3-1. The goal came from Calgary’s Nigel Dawes. The assists came from Mikael Backlund and Jamal Mayers. Calgary restored the 2 goal lead and they wouldn’t stop there.
The Flames were dead set on making their lead larger so they went in and put another in the back of the San Jose net. At 11: 03 Eric Nystrom got Calgary’s goal. The assists came from Mikael Backlund and Jamal Mayers. 4-1! The Calgary Flames were winning 4-1! The 2nd period wrapped up with that score and they were one period away from victory.
However the Sharks were not just going to give in, they had plenty of fight left in them. At 12: 01 Manny Malhotra scored an unassisted goal to get San Jose within 2 goals of the Calgary Flames. 4-2 is the score and the time for them to get back was limited, let’s see what happened.
At 18: 09 Dan Boyle added another goal to make it 4-3 for the San Jose Sharks. Assists came from Logan Couture and Dany Heatley. So with that it was 4-3 and time was running out for San Jose. Less than 2 minutes to go and they needed a goal, a goal they would not get as Calgary took the game 4-3, picking up a win and 2 very important wins.
So the Flames have beaten the Western Conference’s top dogs(well they were yesterday, today that honour belongs to the Chicago Blackhawks). They have beat the best and now have to deal with the rest.
Yesterday the Red Wings were also in action, their opponent was much easier than what the Flames had to deal with. The Detroit Red Wings played the worst team in the NHL, the Edmonton Oilers. However Edmonton pulled something no one expected in this game, a winning performance. The Edmonton Oilers took the game 3-2 in a shootout. So they still handed the Red Wings 1 point. That point helped them hold on to the 8th spot, but now the two(Calgary and Detroit) are locked for that last playoff spot.
Ironically one of Calgary’s biggest rivals did them a huge favour and now the Flames mission has lightened up a tad, but Calgary can still not afford to give in. If they do their playoff push might as well ripped from the record books. They still do have a very tough schedule ahead of them so they better keep up the top play.
Calgary Flames' next games are as followed:
Sunday vs. Minnesota Wild (3/21/10)
Tuesday vs. Anaheim Ducks (3/23/10)
Thursday vs. New York Islanders (3/25/10)
Saturday vs. Boston Bruins (3/27/10)
Sunday vs. Washington Capitals (3/28/10)
The Flames are going to get a chance to relax a bit here for 4 games seeing their next 4 opponents are not exactly what you call top teams. Sadly, the same can not be said about their 5th opponent. That is without a doubt a tall order they have there! The Washington Capitals are THE best team in the NHL today, so no doubt the Flames have to give it their all in that one. It will be their toughest test of the playoff push, undoubtedly. If they can win, the momentum will be undeniable and the confidence level should be brought to an all time high.
So with the playoffs so close the Calgary Flames have to play their best hockey yet. Luckily they have all the right assets to go into the game and get the win. A top goalie, a great coach, a stellar offense and a defense that can get the job done. They need to bring their swagger to these last few hockey games if they want to have any hopes of fighting for the Stanley Cup.
Stay tuned Flames nation, things are getting good!
This article was originally posted on The Sports Dossier under the name "Standing Tall: Calgary Flames knock off San Jose Sharks 4-3" Check out more great pieces from our talented staff of writers.
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