Sharks lose in shootout, but clinch playoff spot
- Associated Press
- March 24, 2014 - 11:35 PM
CALGARY, Alberta — The San Jose Sharks clinched a playoff spot by getting a point in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Calgary Flames on Monday night.
Mike Cammalleri scored the only goal in the shootout for Calgary.
Cammalleri moved in from the right wing and went short side on Alex Stalock, setting off a roar from the Saddledome crowd.
Karri Ramo, who finished with 33 saves, stopped Patrick Marleau, Joe Pavelski and James Sheppard for the win.
Joe Colborne scored in regulation for Calgary. The Flames have won 10 of their past 13 on home ice.
It was also Calgary's league-leading 43rd one-goal game. They are two away from the club record of 45 set in 2005-06.
Sheppard scored in regulation for San Jose, which had its four-game road winning streak end.
San Jose increased its lead atop the Pacific Division to two points over Anaheim. The Ducks have two games in hand.
After being outplayed much of the first period, Calgary was better in the second.
Early on, Stalock had to be sharp, throwing up his blocker to deny Sean Monahan from the slot and stopping Kris Russell from in close after he was set up by Kenny Agostino.
The Flames kept up the pressure and it eventually paid off on Colborne's ninth goal at 18:00, the result of a heady play by rookie defenseman Tyler Wotherspoon.
Playing his 10th NHL game, the 21-year-old spotted Colborne alone at the far faceoff circle and hit him with a perfect cross-ice pass that Colborne stopped, controlled and deftly wristed over Stalock as he desperately slid across.
Five of Colborne's goals have come in the past 11 games.
Calgary carried that momentum into the third period with Jiri Hudler nearly orchestrating the go-ahead goal twice. First setting up Matt Stajan for a re-direction that went off the side of the net. And later in the period, his pass to Curtis Glencross forced Stalock to make another solid save.
But after that, San Jose regained control with Ramo having to make some timely stops, including a pad stop against Pavelski at the side of the net.
After missing six weeks with a knee injury, Ramo's first two starts since his return have been excellent. After stopping 24 of 25 against Edmonton in the Flames' 8-1 win on Saturday night, he made 33 saves against San Jose.
Ramo improved to 13-10-4.
Stalock had 26 saves in regulation. He hasn't lost in regulation in his past six starts (4-0-2) and is 11-4-2 on the season.
Stalock was particularly sharp early in the game as the Sharks carried the play in the first period, outshooting the Flames 18-8.
However, it was still scoreless until the final two minutes when San Jose took advantage of a lucky bounce.
Matt Nieto's shot hit Sheppard in the back as he skated through the slot. With Ramo caught out of position as a result, Sheppard corralled the puck as it fell to the ice and fired in the open net.
It's the second goal in as many games for Sheppard, matching his output from the season's first 56 games.
Notes: San Jose D Brad Stuart (upper body) returned after missing 13 games. ... San Jose owns the fourth-longest playoff streak in the four major professional sports in North America. They trail Detroit Red Wings (22), San Antonio Spurs (16) and Denver Nuggets (10).
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