The San Jose Sharks (3-2-1) swim into the Scotiabank Saddledome tonight for the first of four matchups with the Calgary Flames (4-3-0) this season. The Sharks are coming off a 6-1 win in Edmonton last night, and will be gunning for their 3rd consecutive win. The Flames will be looking to extend their winning streak after coming home from Columbus after a 6-2 win to wrap up their 3-game road trip.
To say that both teams found their scoring touch last game is an understatement, but it is only partially true. In their last match, both the Flames and the Sharks were aided by opponents who played poorly and gave up too many chances. Both teams capitalized and were aided by goaltenders that were hot. Antero Nittymaki played a solid game in the Shark’s net and Flames rookie Henrik Karlsson notched his first NHL win in his first NHL game.
The Flames don’t seem to have any problem winning when their opponents fail to show up for the game. This won’t be the case tonight, though. Despite th fact that there is no true rivalry, the Flames and Sharks always play a tough game against each other. The big matchup will be between the Sharks first line of Thornton, Marleau and Heatley and the Flames first line (Iggy, Stajan and Tanguay). Both lines have been scoring recently so expect them both to be on the scoresheet tonight.
The hottest individual players are definitely Rene Bourque and Joe Pavelski, so keep your eyes on them. Bourque had his 3rd career hat trick in Columbus on Friday and added an assist in the game. Pavelski has 5 points (3 goals, 2 assists) in the Shark’s last 2 games.
Mikka Kiprusoff will be back in net for the Flames after a night off in Columbus. Who will be in the Shark’s goal? Your guess is as good as mine. It could be Nittymaki as easily as Antti Niemi. Leave a comment below with your guess.
The game starts at 6pm and is on Sportsnet Flames.
Update (6:02pm): Keep up with all the action on twitter here: