The San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames face off in their second of five meetings at the SAP Center in San Jose. The Flames are playing their second road game in 48 hours coming off a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Coyotes last night in Glendale, AZ. The Flames converted on three of their six power play opportunities and got a solid start from Brian Elliott, who made 25 saves for his first victory since October.
Sharks Return Home
The Sharks return home after a 3-1 road trip to the Eastern time zone, playing four games in six nights. Martin Jones started all four games as the Sharks won their first two shootouts of the season in Ottawa and Toronto then hung on for a 4-2 win in Montreal before dropping a 4-1 decision against the Blackhawks in the last game.
Pacific Division Race Is On
The race in the Pacific Division is a tight one as the season approaches the midway point. Only three points separating the Sharks and Flames with the Edmonton Oilers and Anaheim Ducks sandwiched between them. The Flames have surprised many with their record, especially considering the early struggles of Brian Elliott, who Calgary brought in from the St. Louis Blues this past offseason to steady their uneven play in net. However, it was journeyman Chad Johnson who has provided the best netminding for the Flames, and he is likely to get the start in San Jose.
Calgary Flames at San Jose Sharks
SAP Center – 7:30 p.m. PST
Broadcast channels – CSN-CA, SNW
Radio: Sharks Radio Network
2016-17 Season Series:
November 3, 2016 – Calgary Flames 3 San Jose Sharks 2
San Jose Sharks – 19-12-1 – 39 Points
Home Record: 10-4-0
Hot Players: Brent Burns
Key Injuries: Tomas Hertl
Patrick Marleau – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Mikkel Boedker – Logan Couture – Kevin Labanc
Timo Meier – Chris Tierney – Joonas Donskoi
Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Jones first off the ice for #SJSharks
— Curtis Pashelka (@CurtisPashelka) December 20, 2016
Calgary Flames – 17-15-2 – 36 Points
Road Record: 10-6-2
Hot Players: Sean Monahan, Johnny Gaudreau
Key Injuries: Ladislav Smid
Matthew Tkachuk – Mikeal Backlund – Michael Frolik
Johnny Gaudreau – Sam Bennett – Alex Chiasson
Kris Versteeg – Sean Monahan – Troy Brouwer
Michael Ferland – Matt Stajan – Garrett Hathaway
Mark Giordano – Dougie Hamilton
T.J. Brodie – Dennis Wideman
Jyrki Jokipakka – Deryk Engelland
Chad Johnson (Likely)
1)Brent Burns continues his torrid point production and leads the Sharks with 13 goals and 30 points. The All-World defenseman has recorded at least a point (four goals, five assists) in his last eight games.
2)Johnny Gaudreau returned from his early season holdout and struggled to get his bearings but now leads the Flames in scoring with 21 points in 23 games. The Salem, NJ native has only been held off the scoresheet once in his last 11 games.
3)Chad Johnson has been a find for the Flames. His 2.22 goals-against average and .924 save percentage far exceed his teammate Brian Elliott’s poor 3.22 goals-against average and sub-.900 save percentage.
4)No team in the NHL has amassed more penalty minutes than the Calgary Flames with 425 minutes in the sin bin. The Sharks have the NHL’s third-best power play at home (25.5%) making a potential lopsided special teams match-up.