Flames Bow To Sharks 

Third Period Damphousse Goal Settles Outcome

March 15th, 2003
Rick Charlton

Lowry Conroy Iginla
Donovan Drury Saprykin
Gelinas Yelle Clark
Berube Nichol Sloan
Gauthier Boughner
Leopold Regehr
Lydman Ference

The NHL's hottest sniper went stone cold.

Jarome Iginla managed to beat Shark netminder Vesa Toskala with a ripper of a wrist shot inside the short side post earlier in the game but wasn't able to duplicate the feat on a decisive penalty shot midway through the third period, leaving San Jose with a 3-2 home ice win last night over the Calgary Flames.

Iginla's earlier goal, his 32nd of the season and his 17th in the last 17 games, was vintage for the Calgary superstar, hurtling down the right wing and catching Toskala napping high inside the minor league post.

But Toskala must have been taking notes, aggressively staring down Iginla when it mattered later in the game when the Flames forward was allowed a penalty shot with the Sharks ahead 3-2.

It was the third penalty shot of Iginla's career. He has yet to score.

For Toskala, it was only his second career NHL win as he turned aside 32 Calgary shots.

The game wasn't as highlight reel for Calgary starter Roman Turek, a soft backhand from a wide angle by Vincent Damphousse on a San Jose powerplay proving to be the winner at 5:47 of the third.

2003 Draft Watch

If the draft was held today ...

Pick Team Player*
1 Buffalo M.-A. Fleury
2 Atlanta Milan Michalek
3 Carolina Nikolai Zherdev
4 Pittsburgh Nathan Horton
5 Columbus Braydon Coburn
6 Calgary Eric Staal
7 San Jose Andrei Kastsitsyn
*ranking: Red Line 2/26/03

Turek finished with 25 saves.

The loss left Calgary at 24-33-10-4 on the season, the Flames mired in 14th place in the NHL's Western Conference.

On the other side of the ledger, the win enabled the Sharks to escape the final ignominy of their terrible season, keeping their ex-coach Darryl Sutter in their rear-view mirror, San Jose now two points ahead of the Flames in the standings.

The Flames were seven points behind the Sharks when Sutter took the reins in Calgary just after Christmas.

Calgary opened scoring courtesy of the lazy play of Teemu Selanne, the veteran Sharks winger failing to detect Scott Nichol sweeping in behind him to hammer a short-handed Toni Lydman pass behind Toskala at 5:26 of the first period.

Nicholas Dmitrakos held the puck long enough to spring Patrick Marleau free at the side of the Calgary net for an easy marker, tying the game at the 54 second mark of the second period.

But Iginla's goal at 3:01 of the second returned the lead to Calgary before new Shark Alyn McAuley brought the Sharks even, the ex-Leaf shooting a loose puck from behind the Flames net, more of a centering attempt, that hit Turek and spun into the Calgary net to knot the score 2-2 at 14:46.

From there it was Damphousse with the eventual winner, a groaner that Turek should have had, plus the final denouement, Toskala stopping Iginla on a penalty shot.

With his 32nd of the season and 11 games yet to play, Iginla may yet net 40 by the end of the season, a remarkable happenstance considering he had only seven at the Christmas break.

Calgary was zero for four on the power play while San Jose scored twice in four attempts.

Next up is Anaheim.

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San Jose Sharks 3
Calgary Flames 2

1 Vesa Toskala - Wins only his second career game but sharp throughout, particularly at the decisive moment on Iginla's penalty shot. 

2 Alyn McAuley - He's putting the Nolan trade into a new light, a goal, an assist and a goalpost in extending his points streak to three games. 

3 Jarome Iginla - Okay, so he didn't tie the game with his penalty shot attempt but still dangerous through the evening, finishing with six shots.

The penalty shot of course, Toskala staring down Iginla and forcing the Flames forward to deke, following him across the crease and keeping the Sharks ahead.

Not quite the sitting duck he's been in past stints with the Flames, Oleg Saprykin was nevertheless lined up and leveled by Kyle McLaren late in the first period.

The Phantom Flame, Dean McAmmond hinted during an interview on FAN960 that there may still be NHLPA protest regarding his status in limbo-land, something first suggested at Calgarypuck.com on Friday. McAmmond said he had been talking with NHLPA representatives and he would be waiting to see what would come of those conversations "in the next few days." Obviously, the riddle would be what exactly the NHLPA would try to achieve. A void trade which solidifies a rule designed to protect players but sends McAmmond back to Colorado, a team that doesn't want him? Or does the NHLPA attempt to uphold a violation of the very rule it bargained hard to achieve, seeking an exception so that McAmmond might still play in Calgary this year. For his part, McAmmond confirmed that he does indeed have a games played bonus in his contract that will be jeopardized by the NHL's decision to prevent him from playing . . . . . . After having his face re-arranged by an errant puck in the first period, Toni Lydman was able to gather up enough steam to return to action in the third. His modeling career might be history, however. . . . . .San Jose entered the game with only one win in its last seven. Flames had won six of their last eight. . . . . . Flames were 55% in the faceoff circle, led by Stephane Yelle at 65%. Wayne Primeau was 57% for the Sharks. . . . . . .Scott Hannan recorded 29:55 in ice time for the Sharks while Robyn Regehr totaled 23:09 for Calgary.


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