The San Jose Sharks continue to earn points, just not as many as they would like of late.
In the midst of a five-game winless stretch, the visiting Sharks look to get back on track by handing the Calgary Flames a season-high fourth straight loss Tuesday night.
Though San Jose (10-2-5) has earned a point in all but two games, its current 0-1-4 skid has the team a bit frustrated. The Sharks have led in each contest during that span and held a pair of two-goal advantages during Sunday’s 5-4 shootout loss at Winnipeg.
“We made strides as far as our competitiveness,” said coach Todd McLellan, whose team had two goals on the power play after a 3-for-28 slump. “But I still don’t think we’re at our best.”
Captain Joe Thornton also saw positive signs Sunday even though San Jose fell to 1-4 in shootouts and recorded its longest losing streak since February.
“It was better,” Thornton said. “We still got loose a couple of times out there. We’re just unable to finish right now. We just have to get better each day and get two points in Calgary.”
The Sharks posted a 6-3 home win over the Flames (6-9-2) on Oct. 19 in the teams’ only meeting this season. Joe Pavelski had two goals with two assists, and Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau both had one of each as San Jose almost blew a three-goal lead before scoring the last two of the contest.
Pavelski went without a point in the next three games but has three goals and three assists in the last six. He has three goals and five assists in his last four against the Flames.
Couture has six goals and 10 assists in 14 career games versus Calgary, which is starting a three-game homestand after three days off.
The Flames opened a four-game road trip with a 3-2 overtime win at Chicago on Nov. 3 but were outscored 12-5 while losing the final three. Michael Cammalleri scored twice in Friday’s finale as Calgary lost for the ninth time in 12 games, 4-2 to Colorado.
With two failed power-play chances against the Avalanche, the Flames are 0 for 30 in the last nine games after converting on 23.5 percent (8 for 34) in the first eight.
“This league, it’s not a feel-good league,” coach Bob Hartley said. “Moral victories do not exist, you need to put points on the board.”
Hartley’s team is giving up 3.53 goals per game, second-worst in the league, but hopes the addition of veteran defenseman Ladislav Smid can provide some help. Smid was the focal point of a four-player trade with Edmonton on Friday.
“I’ve seen Calgary play this year and that’s their identity: they work hard. They never quit. That’s what I like,” Smid told the team’s official website. “I’m really excited to be part of the Flames now.”
Calgary has allowed at least two goals in every game and has given up one on the power play in four straight.
Cammalleri scored four of his seven goals on the four-game trip but has none in his last six against the Sharks.