San Jose Sharks 3 Calgary Flames 1

Nabokov Stones Flames in Sharks Win

Rick Charlton

December 6th, 2001

No Jarome, no chance.

With Jarome Iginla held off the scoresheet for one of the few times this season, the Calgary Flames were stifled 3-1 in front of 13,012 at the Saddledome last night, snapping a modest three game undefeated streak.

The Sharks were hanging on to a slim 2-1 margin midway through the third period when Iginla, the NHL's leading scorer with 23 goals at 41 points, rang a shot off the goalpost in a scene symbolic of the entire night for the Flames prize star.

The line of Iginla, Craig Conroy and Dean McAmmond, one of the best in the NHL, have combined for 51% of Calgary's total offence this year. That looks like a good thing on the surface until you realize it also implies the rest of the forwards on this team are contributing little to the offensive burden.

Classic in that scenario was an early chance for Rob Niedermayer, mired in a season long offensive slump. With the Sharks jumping out to an early 2-0 lead, Niedermayer streaked through the crease, catching Nabokov alone with an open net gaping in front of him. Instead of burying the chance and bringing the Flames back into the game , Niedermayer somehow found a way to backhand the puck to where Nabokov was instead of where he wasn't.

But that's been the story lately for not only Niedermayer but many other Flames.

The loss kept the Flames third overall in the Western Conference behind Detroit and Edmonton. Calgary is now 14-7-6-2, good for 36 points.

San Jose is undefeated in its last five games.

San Jose opened scoring at 1:58 of the first period when Adam Graves deflected a Todd Harvey point shot through a startled Roman Turek.

The Sharks quickly built a 2-0 edge on a power play when Owen Nolan drilled a short side slapshot past Turek at 4:39.

Nabokov then made sensational stops on Jarome Iginla and Dave Lowry before the game was ten minutes old.

As the second period opened, Flames fans were surprised to see Mike Vernon in net, relieving Turek, with the latter apparently falling prey to an unspecified illness. Turek remained on the bench the rest of the game.

Flames managed to hit the scoresheet at 3:23 of the second period on a lucky break, Craig Conroy banking the puck off the skate of Vincent Damphousse and behind a startled Nabokov.

Sharks put the game out of reach late in the third on a neutral zone turnover that set up a three on two break that was finished expertly by Niklas Sundstrom at 18:13.

Flames were zero for five on the power play this night while the Sharks were one for five.

San Jose directed 27 shots on the Calgary net while the Flames had 25 shots on Nabokov.


Box Score


McAmmond Conroy Iginla
Niedermayer Savard Clark
Lowry Wilm Petrovicky
Berube Nichol Cowan
Regehr Boughner
Gauthier Lydman
Kravchuk Allison


1) Evgeny Nabokov - You have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good - a few goalposts, some missed empty nets and a few great saves added up to a win.

2) Mike Vernon - was that really a "Vernon, Vernon" chant in the third period at the Saddledome? He deserved it with a terrific relief job. No chance on the late Sundstrom goal.

3) Owen Nolan - lots of Team Canada fans have wondered where this guy has been this year but he was physical all night and put up a goal and an assist to bury the Flames.


Ron Petrovicky broke in alone on Nabokov early in the third period but was stopped by a well-timed pad save at a critical moment in the game.


Who else but Denis Gauthier catching Matt Bradley with a thundering hit midway through the third period. A close second might have been Bryan Marchment aiming for McAmmond's knees in the second period - but that would be like Time Magazine naming Osama Bin Laden as its Man of the Year. Accurate but very unpopular.


Shots were 5-1 San Jose early in the third as the Sharks built an early 2-0 lead . . . . . . Flames collectively slaughtered San Jose in the faceoff circle with 58% win percentage. Leading the way for Calgary was Conroy with a 70% success rate. Mark Smith was 77% for the Sharks while Mike Ricci was an abysmal 30%. . . . . . . Flames had a few scary moments in this one, with Marc Savard going down with what appeared to be a knee injury after colliding with the open door at the Flames bench. Then Robyn Regehr left briefly with a cut to the back of his leg. Both returned. . . . . . The fight card had Niedermayer and Brad Stuart throwing punches. Marchment and Regehr earning roughing minors for their tussle. . . . . . . Maybe the official scorer was asleep in this one because it sure looked like both teams delivered a fair number of hits, yet Calgary was credited with only 18 and Sharks only 15. Bob Boughner was a one man wrecking crew with six . . . . . . . Flames honoured the passing of long-time play-by-play man Ed Whalen with a pre-game ceremony. . . . . . Flames had 12 giveaways in this game, the Sharks only five.



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