Calgary Flames Post-Game: Flames decimate Sharks in season finale

Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan Pike
1 month ago
The Calgary Flames hosted the San Jose Sharks in the 82nd and final game of the season for both teams. And the Flames utterly dominated their opposition for the duration of this hockey game.
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The Flames closed out their 2023-24 season with a 5-1 clobbering of the Sharks.

The rundown

The Flames carried play throughout much of the opening period, though they only really started bearing down on their scoring chances about midway through the frame.
The fourth line went on a rush into the Sharks zone. Their passing sequence was disrupted a bit, and the puck ended up on Adam Klapka’s stick, and after battling to maintain control of the puck, he fired a wrister that beat Devin Cooley top corner to give the Flames a 1-0 lead. (The goal was Klapka’s first in the NHL.)
Blake Coleman drew a penalty a little later, and the Flames went to work on the power play. Neither PP unit could convert, but just after the man advantage expired, Connor Zary connected a rebound near the slot area and threw it to Coleman at the far post for the back-door tap-in to give the Flames a 2-0 lead. (The goal was Coleman’s 30th of the season.)
First period shots were 16-5 Flames (12-3 Flames at five-on-five) and, via Natural Stat Trick, five-on-five scoring chances were 11-6 Flames (high-dangers were 5-2 Flames).
The Flames kept pouring it on in the second period. On an offensive zone sequence a few minutes into the period, Oliver Kylington held a puck in at the blueline. A couple passes later, and Kylington’s wrister from the point beat Cooley to make it 3-0 Flames.
A little later, the Flames scored on a sequence that hinged on a really nice individual effort from Matt Coronato. Coronato chased down a loose puck that trickled into the Sharks zone. He cut to the net but his shot was stopped by Cooley. But Coronato kept after the puck, starting a passing sequence that ended with Kevin Rooney firing a shot from the high slot that beat Cooley to make it 4-0 Flames.
The Flames went up 5-0, and chased Cooley from the game in favour of backup Georgi Romanov, about a minute after that. They gained the zone, cycled the puck, and MacKenzie Weegar’s wrister from the point hit twine. (That was Weegar’s 20th goal of the season.)
Second period shots were 13-6 Flames (all at five-on-five) and five-on-five scoring chances were 11-9 Flames (high-dangers were 4-0 Flames).
The balance of the third period was spent with everybody in red trying to pass the puck to Nazem Kadri so he could try to score his 30th goal of the season.
Fabian Zetterlund broke Dustin Wolf’s shutout bid on a late Sharks power play with 8.9 seconds left in regulation. That cut the Flames lead to 5-1 – and broke the hearts of most of the fans in attendance – but the Flames held on for the victory.

Why the Flames won

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: they are who we thought they were. The Sharks are the 32nd-place team in the NHL, and they left a bunch of regulars back in San Jose. The Flames dressed effectively the same lineup they’ve used since the trade deadline. While the red team didn’t dominate every zone for every minute, they did a great job of controlling play and giving the Sharks little opportunity to build momentum.
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Red Warrior

A lot of Flames looked really good in this game. Heck, the only guys that didn’t register shots on goal were Connor Zary, Dustin Wolf and Jacob Markstrom.
Let’s give it to Coleman, who returned from an injury absence and got a milestone goal that his entire team hoped he could get.

Turning point

The Flames scored three goals in rapid succession in the second period, extending a 2-0 lead to 5-0. The Sharks had nothing left in the tank after that.

This and that

Milestones reached in this game: Adam Klapka’s first NHL goal, Blake Coleman’s 30th goal of the season, MacKenzie Weegar’s 20th goal of the season and Rasmus Andersson’s 200th career point.
Klapka fought Givani Smith in the second period.

Up next

The Flames (38-39-5) have completed their season. They have exit meetings on Friday, and then begin their off-season.

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