Dion Phaneuf chose the perfect time to end his 25-game goal drought and hand the San Jose Sharks their first regulation loss at home in 11 months. Phaneuf’s goal, with 3:57 left in the 3rd period, gave the Calgary Flames a 3-2 victory in a playoff-like game between the 2 division leaders.
Calgary came from behind twice after Ryan Clowe and Joe Thornton scored for the Sharks to make it 1-0 and 2-1 respectively.
Clowe’s goal came just 60 seconds into the first period, but unlike the last time the Flames played in San Jose, they did not lose their focus and stayed in the game. The Flames played a good game for much of the first period including killing a tough 5-on-3 penalty and were eventually rewarded when Craig Conroy scored 2:02 into the 2nd period to tie the game at 1-1.
Joe Thornton’s goal a few minutes later re-gained the lead for the sharks, but the lead was short-lived as Daymond Langkow scored his 5th goal in 5 games to tie the game at 2-2.
Though both teams had chances – Thornton hit both posts on a bullet of a shot from the slot in the 3rd period – it was Daymond Langkow that set up the winning goal by Dion Phaneuf late in the 3rd period.
Langkow, who has been very hot lately, worked the puck to Phaneuf who was pinching down from the point as the Flames pressed in the offensive zone. Phaneuf’s shot deflected off Sharks Defender Marc-Edouard Vlasic’s stick and past Evgeni Nabokov to seal the victory for the visiting Calgary Flames.
The Win ended the Sharks 11-month regular season home-win streak that dates back to Feb 14th of 2008. It was also the 2nd victory in-a-row for the Flames against the Sharks and de-throned the Sharks as the #1 team in the NHL. With a win tonight in Long Island, the Boston Bruins pushed past the Sharks and became the first team to hit 70 points this season.
The win was hard-earned for the Flames who have won 9 of their last 10 games and 11 of their last 13. They now have a 9-point lead on top of the NW division, and are in the top 5 teams in the league thanks to their hot play as of late.
Flames Defenceman Robyn Regehr’s play must be mentioned here, as he put in another solid performance against one of the most potently-offensive teams in the league. Regehr’s consistent play against the best players in the league has been one of the big factors in the Flames success this season. For a guy who doesn’t seem to get the recognition he deserves, Regehr continues to show up game-after-game and keeps his team in the lead when it counts most. His play tonight was an excellent example of why he’s one of the best defencemen in the NHL.