“Hits and Misses” for Flames at Sharks 3/23/11

Result: Flames 3, SHARKS 6

San Jose Sharks forward Andrew Desjardins celebrates with Jamal Mayers after scoring his first career NHL goal Wednesday night against the Calgary Flames. Photo courtesy of Yahoo Sports.

HITS

Torrey Mitchell – Mitchell scored two goals, his eighth and ninth goals of the season, for his first career NHL multi-goal game, extended his point streak to four games and now has five goals in his last seven games after having only four goals in the previous 67 games.  Mitchell’s first goal came at 3:00 of the first period to give the Sharks an early 1-0 lead.  With the Sharks on a line change, Sharks captain Joe Thornton dumped the puck into the opposite end of the Flames zone from center ice.  Mitchell skated after the puck and from the side-board, got the puck to Sharks forward Jamal Mayers, who was supporting on the play.  With the puck on his stick, Mayers skated around the Flames net and fired a turnaround shot at Flames goalie Miikka Kiprusoff as Mitchell went strong to the net with his stick on the ice.  The puck deflected off of Mitchell’s stick and into the net for the goal.  Mitchell’s second goal of the game came at 15:50 of the second period to give the Sharks a 5-3 lead heading into the second intermission.  With a face-off in the Flames zone to Kiprusoff’s left side, Sharks forward Joe Pavelski won the face-off and Mitchell fired a shot on net from the side-board.  Kiprusoff made the save on Mitchell’s shot but gave up a rebound to Pavelski in the slot.  Pavelski put a shot on net that was stopped by Kiprusoff but got his own rebound and passed the puck over to a cutting Mitchell, who had worked himself back to the front of the net, and Mitchell buried the puck home.

Patrick Marleau – Marleau scored two goals in a 2:34 span, his 30th and 31st goals of the season, for his 48th career multi-goal game and for the fifth time in his career, Marleau has scored 30 goals in a season.  In addition, Marleau now has 351 career goals and is one of three players to have 350 goals and 400 assists with his team {Other two are Anaheim Ducks Teemu Selanne and Flames Jarome Iginla}.  Marleau’s first goal came at 14:59 of the first period to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead.  With a Flames turnover in the neutral zone, Marleau used his speed to create a breakaway opportunity and with Flames defenseman Jay Bouwmeester on his back, Marleau deked, toe-dragged and lifted a backhand shot passed a sprawled out Kiprusoff.  Marleau’s second goal came moments later on the Power Play at 17:33 of the first period as Flames forward Alex Tanguay was in the penalty box for a “holding” minor.  From the Flames blue-line, Marleau passed the puck down to Thornton, who was in the right face-off circle.  Thornton fired a pass over to Pavelski in the slot, who somehow managed to get a shot on net despite being covered by two Flames players.  Pavelski’s shot hit Sharks forward Devin Setoguchi {who was screening Kiprusoff in front} in the chest, bounced down to Setoguchi’s stick and over to a cutting Marleau, who banged the puck into the open net to give the Sharks a 4-2 lead heading into the first intermission.

Andrew Desjardins – In his 10th career NHL game, Desjardins scored his first NHL goal for his first NHL point at 9:27 of the first period to give the Sharks a 2-1 lead.  Desjardins carried the puck from the Sharks blue-line into the Flames zone, skated into the slot and from just outside the right face-off circle, snapped a wicked wrist shot that beat Kiprusoff top shelf.  Helping out on the goal was Mayers, who created space for Desjardins by crashing the net, which forced the Flames defense to back up.

Logan Couture – “Calder” Couture put the nail in the coffin when he scored his 28th goal of the season at 11:55 of the third period to put the Sharks up 6-3.  Couture skated into the Flames zone 2-0n-1 with Sharks forward Dany Heatley and after looking Heatley off, Couture fired a shot passed Kiprusoff for his second goal against the Flames this season.

Joe Pavelski – The NHL “First Star of the Week” continued his hot streak with two assists for a two point night.  Pavelski now has 59 points {16 goals, 43 assists} and his next point will give him a new career high for points in a season.

Antti Neimi – Making his 29th consecutive start in net for the Sharks, Niemi was once again outstanding, stopping 22-out-of-25 shots and was the sole reason why the Sharks didn’t relinquish their two goal lead in the first 10 minutes of the second period.

Power Play – For the eighth straight game, the Sharks scored a Power Play goal and finished the night 1-for-2 with the man advantage.

Sharks Team – With the exception of the first 10 minutes of the second period, this was a solid team effort by the Sharks as all four lines contributed a goal and 13-out-of-18 Sharks skaters had a point {The Sharks without a point were Heatley, Jason Demers, Ian White, Kyle Wellwood and Marc-Edouard Vlasic}.  With the win, the Sharks have now won four in a row, remain in first place of the Pacific Division with 94 points, three ahead of the second place Phoenix Coyotes and are now only one point behind the Detroit Red Wings for the second overall seed in the Western Conference.  The Sharks now begin their final stretch of the regular season as their remaining eight games will all be against Pacific Division teams with 16 critical points up for grabs.

MISSES

Dany Heatley – Coming off his two-game suspension for his hit on Dallas Stars forward Steve Ott, Heatley had a nightmare of a game as he went point-less and was responsible for two of the Flames three goals.  With Heatley in the penalty box for an ill-advised “boarding” minor on Flames defenseman Mark Giordano, the Flames capitalized on their only Power Play of the game as Iginla scored his 34th goal of the season at 7:13 of the first period to tie the game at 1-1.  With the puck in the Sharks zone, Flames forward Olli Jokinen attempted a pass across the slot that deflected off of Couture’s skate and bounced right to Iginla, who was standing at the right side of Niemi’s crease, and pushed the puck into the net.  At 13:20 of the second period, Heatley had Flames forward Rene Bourque‘s wraparound shot deflect off of his stick and into the net to cut the Sharks lead to 4-3.  Had Heatley just let Niemi play the puck, Niemi would have made the save as Niemi had already closed off the side of the net that Bourque was aiming at but once the puck deflected off of Heatley’s stick, the puck found a sliver to beat Niemi.

Jason Demers – Demers’ turnover in his own zone led to the Flames tying the game at 2-2 on Cory Sarich‘s fourth goal of the season at 13:59 of the first period.  With the puck behind his own net, Demers cleared the puck to no one and the puck was held in the Sharks zone by the Flames.  Sarich let one rip from the blue-line that beat Niemi due to Flames forward Tim Jackman screening Niemi in front.

Second Period – This is a minor “miss” because the period was honestly a “Jekyll and Hyde” period for the Sharks.  The first ten minutes of the period the Sharks were abysmal as they came out lackadaisical, made sloppy passes and turned the puck over everytime they had the puck on their sticks.  Had it not been for Niemi being in net and coming up with some big saves, the Sharks could have, and probably should have, lost their two goal lead.  After Bourque’s goal though, the Sharks snapped out of their second period funk and started playing the way they had been in the first period, which resulted in Mitchell’s second goal of the game.

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About Jon Allred

Life long San Jose and Worcester Sharks fan that bleeds teal and black.

Posted on March 23, 2011, in Sports and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. It seems Marleau is on a hot streak! Let’s hope he keeps some for the playoffs. About Heatley… well, I guess everyone can have a bad day…
    Awesome post!

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