CALGARY, ALBERTA (TICKER) —San Jose Sharks coach Ron Wilson may be getting confused again.
After watching his team provide little effort in a 3-0 loss to the New York Islanders on February 19, Wilson professed to being “the most confused person in North America, maybe in the world, right now.”
The Sharks responded to their coach’s comments, posting three straight wins and outscoring their opponents, 14-4. They held a 2-0 lead after 40 minutes of this one but fell apart in the third period as the Flames rallied for their first victory in 28 games this season when trailing after two (1-25-1-1).
“That’s not a stat that’s overwhelming for most teams,” said Calgary coach Darryl Sutter, who avenged Monday’s 5-2 loss to his former team. “If you look at it, it’s very difficult. How many teams out of 30 do it the whole year? You might do it twice in the whole year. … Basically, it’s a stat you guys like to talk about to be negative, that’s all.”
Drury halved Calgary’s deficit 5:10 into the final session and linemate Martin Gelinas netted the equalizer just over three minutes later.
Craig Conroy scored his second goal in 17 games with 4:06 remaining to snap the tie and Drury added a much-needed insurance tally just over two minutes later for his second multi-goal contest of the season.
“It’s been 27 games and it was one of those where they were down to five defensemen,” Conroy said. “We knew if we kept forechecking, we could cash in.”
“It’s our first comeback win of the year,” Drury added. “Hopefully, we’ll learn from it so if we’re down again, we can come back again. I think we stuck with a game plan and didn’t try to force anything. It started clicking and we got some bounces and a few goals.”
“We didn’t have our legs and our minds weren’t there, either, to do the right things,” Wilson said. “We not only let one point, we let two points slip right through our grasp. That’s the disappointment.”
Winless in its previous four home meetings with San Jose, Calgary began its stunning comeback when Drury got the puck on the doorstep and spun before putting a shot between goaltender Evgeni Nabokov’s pads at 5:10 of the third.
Standing in front, Gelinas redirected Oleg Saprykin’s pass off the right boards past Nabokov at 8:19.
“A couple of mistakes and we’re down, 2-0,” Gelinas said. “We talked about it (after the first period) and said we need to be consistent for 60 minutes. We came back after the second period and started playing our type of game, and it paid off at the end.”
With the contest seemingly destined for overtime, Conroy ended an eight-game drought by putting Jarome Iginla’s feed from behind the net between Nabokov’s pads for his 16th goal of the season.
Drury completed his sixth career two-goal effort with 1:54 to go, lifting a shot from the right faceoff circle over a sliding Nabokov after fanning on a one-timer from the high slot.
“I initially went to take the one-timer and I just fanned on it,” Drury said. “Luckily, it hit my knee. I think Nabokov was playing the original one-timer I fanned on, so I had a lot to shoot at.”
The tally proved crucial when Sturm banked a shot from the left corner off Turek’s pad with less than three seconds remaining for his second straight 20-goal campaign.
The Sharks, who nearly squandered a 3-0 lead in the third period on Thursday at Vancouver, opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game on a pretty passing play.
From the right point, rookie defenseman Jim Fahey dished to Teemu Selanne in the lower left circle. Spotting Dimitrakos cutting down the slot, Selanne threaded a pass that the Massachusetts native backhanded past Turek for his second goal in seven NHL games.
Fahey completed his third two-point game at 8:04 when Smith put the 23-year-old’s cross-slot pass behind Turek for a 2-0 lead.
“We almost lost the game Thursday against Vancouver because we had some bad shifts late in the game, and tonight it cost us the game, especially our line,” Selanne said. “There’s no excuse, we can’t let those guys have goals like that in the third period. It’s very frustrating.”
The Flames made Fahey pay for his performance as defenseman Robyn Regehr slammed the rookie into the end boards after his pass, causing him to fall and hit his head on the ice. After laying in a pool of blood for a few moments, Fahey was helped to the locker room and did not return.
Regehr continued to dish out punishment, cross-checking San Jose captain Owen Nolan across the back in front of the Flames’ net with 10 seconds left in the third period. With a history of injuries in recent years, Nolan lay motionless for several minutes before being escorted to the locker room.
“Jimmy was knocked out when his head hit the ice,” Wilson said. “And Owen, he got cross-checked in the back. The referees missed that, but he’s had a bad back in the past. I hope he’s going to be OK. We’ll assess that tomorrow.”