Calgary (17-12-3) at San Jose (24-11-0)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: San Jose, CA
Temp: 75° F
  • Game info: 10:00 pm EST Sat Dec 23, 2006
  • TV: CBC, CSBA
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The San Jose Sharks have had trouble maintaining consistency during a long homestand. They’ll try to rebound from a lackluster loss when they host the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.

The Sharks (24-11-0) are playing a season-high six games in a row at home, but have yet to put together consecutive wins so far. They are 1-2 during the stretch, and following an emotional 4-3 win over Anaheim last Saturday, came out flat and fell 3-0 to Dallas on Thursday.

“I have no idea why,” San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. “For the first five minutes I was feeling pretty good. We had our legs. We were skating. We hadn’t taken a shot but we were flying around. As soon as they scored the first goal, we lost the will to battle. At home that is very disappointing.”

The Sharks are 12-5-0 at HP Pavilion and have won nine of their last 13 games overall. Still, they trail the first-place Ducks by 12 points in the Pacific Division despite having the third-most points in the Western Conference.

“I don’t know what it was,” Sharks center Joe Thornton said after Thursday’s defeat. “We didn’t seem to have the sense of urgency we had against Anaheim. … (The Stars’ Marty Turco is) a good goalie and he saw every shot tonight. By the third, they’re up 2-0 and they’re a good enough team to close it out.”

Thornton’s six-game point streak came to an end. Last season’s Hart Trophy winner recorded an assist in San Jose’s 4-1 win over Calgary on Oct. 9 and has 13 points in 12 games against the Flames.

Calgary (17-12-3) had won the three previous meetings with San Jose before the October loss. The Flames’ Miikka Kiprusoff, who captured the Vezina Trophy last season, is 8-4-1 with a 1.99 goals-against average—including playoffs— against his former team.

Kiprusoff has allowed three goals or less in each of his last 23 starts this season, and has given up more than three goals only twice against the Sharks, including the loss in the season’s first meeting.

Saturday’s game is the finale of a season-high six-game road trip for the Flames, who are 2-2 so far. Calgary hasn’t played since a 5-3 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday because its Thursday game against Colorado was postponed due to the blizzard that hit the Denver area this week. No makeup date has been decided yet.

“We are in full support of the decision to postpone the game as safety concerns for fans, staff and players come first,” Flames president Ken King said.

Calgary took over first place in the Northwest Division for the first time this season with Tuesday’s win, but the postponement allowed Edmonton to jump ahead of the Flames with a 3-2 win over Phoenix on Thursday. The Flames have 37 points, one behind the Oilers, though all five teams in the division are separated by only a handful of points.

Calgary is 5-9-3 on the road. Following this trip, the Flames have only one game away from home in their next eight contests.

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Saturday, Dec 23