For their second-to-last pre-season game of 2019, the Calgary Flames brought a smattering of depth bodies to Silicon Valley. Unfortunately, the San Jose Sharks dressed their NHL roster. The Flames were generally out-played in a 4-1 road loss to the Sharks.
The Flames were neck-and-neck with the Sharks for the first two periods. They were out-shot 12-4 in the first and 12-11 in the second period. The Sharks carried play at even strength, but the special teams play was about even.
Artyom Zagidulin came into the game in the third. While the players in front of him looked a bit shell-shocked, he wasn’t great in his first game against bonafide NHL players. He gave up an early goal to Evander Kane, then three goals in just shy of three minutes to Brent Burns and a pair to Dylan Gambrell to put the game very quickly out of reach.
Justin Kirkland broke Martin Jones’ shutout bid, but it was too little, too late.
Why the Flames lost
Well, they were out-gunned. The Sharks dressed their best guys and the Flames countered with a first line of Dillon Dube, Mark Jankowski and Andrew Mangiapane. So… that was sub-optimal from a competition standpoint.
But the Flames hung in there for two periods because of their goaltending.
Cam Talbot was really effective, making 24 saves for the Flames in his 40 minutes of duty. He held his team in the game.
Stick-taps to Jankowski, Mangiapane, Derek Ryan and Tobias Rieder. Rieder was dangerous on the penalty kill, but otherwise blended in.
The turning point
The Flames were chasing after the early third period goal by Kane, but the trio of goals allowed by Zagidulin in a span of 2:52 completely put the game out of reach. The Sharks were able to coast from that point and just defend.
This and that
In potentially his last chance to audition for an opening night gig, Oliver Kylington took two first period minor penalties.
We all need to do our part pic.twitter.com/3nFLCriEmm
— FlamesNation (@FlamesNation) September 27, 2019
Rasmus Andersson and Andrew MacDonald were perfectly fine as a defensive pairing. Nothing spectacular, but they were quietly effective.
The Flames practice tomorrow, then prepare for their final pre-season context on Saturday night when they host the Edmonton Oilers.