The Calgary Flames finally got the San Jose monkey off their back, beating the Sharks for the first time in four attempts with a 4-2 victory.
The Flames showed their true colours this time against the Sharks, who won all three previous encounters. After the Sharks levelled the contest earl in the third, it looked as though the home team were poised for another comeback victory.
But the Flames showed excellent maturity and experience, learning from previous encounters to prevail. On another night Daniel Vladař, with both of San Jose’s goals coming from fortuitous ricochets, might have secured a shutout.
The Flames backup netminder made a few timely saves to ensure victory, their third in four nights on the west coast.
Flames 7-4-1 in third game in four-night span
Speaking of three in four nights, Darryl Sutter’s team has an impressive 7-4-1 record in that scenario. It’s a telling stat, highlighting Calgary’s indefatigable physicality and mental toughness.
That, of course, is down to the way Sutter relentlessly prepares his team. And it could be a decisive advantage in the postseason.
The three straight road wins against LA, Anaheim and San Jose are more impressive when considering who is currently out of the lineup: Oliver Kylington, Calle Järnkrok, Sean Monahan (out for the rest of the season).
Other key Calgary stats
The Flames have scored the first goal in 46 encounters, one of the key reasons they are leading the Pacific Division. It’s an instrumental part of the team’s identity, as the Flames, even more so than most NHL teams, dominate after scoring first.
Johnny Gaudreau is an astoundingly good +52, one ahead of Joe Mullen’s all-time +51 franchise record. It’s yet another feather in the cap of Calgary’s superstar, who needs just a single point to hit 100, which would also mark a career best.
For the 23rd time this season, Calgary registered 40+ shots on goal and are now just one 40+ shot game away from tying a franchise record.
Calgary plays in Seattle later this afternoon, looking to return home unscathed after the four-game western stint.