Flames keep on rising

Calgary 4 San Jose 1 CALGARY — Two weeks after a franchise record seven-game losing streak on home ice, the Calgary Flames appear to be turning their fortunes around.

Calgary 4 San Jose 1

CALGARY — Two weeks after a franchise record seven-game losing streak on home ice, the Calgary Flames appear to be turning their fortunes around.

Mark Giordano scored the game-winner and Karri Ramo made 27 saves as the Flames knocked off the San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday night for their fourth consecutive victory — all of them at the Scotiabank Saddledome.

It comes two nights after Calgary knocked off the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.

“I would say tonight, by far, is probably our best team win of the season,” said Flames coach Bob Hartley.

“As a coaching staff, we cannot be more happy than we are right now. Those guys deserve the credit. We beat quite a hockey club tonight. From Karri Ramo to the six D to the four lines, everyone is chipping in.”

Leading 1-0 after the first period, the Flames grabbed a two-goal lead at 3:38 of the second.

Mikael Backlund’s shot missed the net but the puck caromed sharply off the end boards and out the other side where Giordano rifled it in the short side as goaltender Alex Stalock scrambled across.

“There wasn’t much room for Backs and I knew he was going to shoot it so you’re just trying to read the rebound and with the new nets with them being a bit shorter, it comes out at different angles and the goalie doesn’t really have a chance to get across,” Giordano said.

“It was a good bounce and I just tried to fire it as hard as I could on net.”

The ninth goal of the season for Giordano extends his career-high scoring streak to eight games (four goals, four assists).

“I wouldn’t have believed it (was possible).

“It just seems like I’m getting a couple of bounces. I’m trying to be aggressive and it seems the puck’s coming to me at the right spot,” said Giordano.

Lee Stempniak, rookie Sean Monahan also scored for Calgary (20-27-7) and Jiri Hudler added an empty-net goal. Backlund and Dennis Wideman each had two assists.

The Flames, who are enjoying their longest winning streak since reeling off five victories in a row in March 2012, are 4-0-0 with one game to go on a five-game homestand.

“Sometimes it goes this way. The main thing is we kept working and nobody gave up when things were bad. Everybody learned from those and we started to do the right things,” Ramo said.

Eriah Hayes, with his first NHL goal, was the lone Shark to solve Ramo.

San Jose (34-15-6) has lost three straight.

The Sharks entered the game on two straight shutouts after losing 1-0 to Jonathan Quick and the Los Angeles Kings on Monday, and 3-0 in Edmonton on Wednesday, thanks to Ben Scriven’s record-setting 59 saves.

“It’s a big concern of ours right now. In our last eight games, we’ve only scored 13 goals and 10 have them have come from three players,” said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. “Obviously with injuries and every team goes through them, you need others to pick up the slack and we’ve got to find that.”

San Jose was held to eight shots in the first period but racked up 13 in the second, including multiple chances to score on Ramo. In one mad scramble around the Flames net, Hayes nearly scored only to have the puck cleared off the goal-line by Giordano.

The Sharks finally cashed in 46 seconds into the third as this time Hayes would not be denied. After Chris Butler lost the puck in front of his net, a quick passing sequence with Tommy Wingels and Patrick Marleau set up Hayes less than 15 feet away and he buried a quick shot over Ramo’s glove.

“We’re getting tons of chances, great opportunities right in front like that. It’s a little frustrating right now that the bounces aren’t going our way. Once the bounces start going our way, we’re going to be scoring a lot of goals,” said Hayes, playing his 13th NHL game after being recalled from Worcester (AHL) on Jan. 4.

That goal ended a stretch of a 160 minute, 36 second scoreless drought for the Sharks, who racked up 103 shots on goal before Hayes connected.

“I think we just need to get back to finishing,” said Sharks captain Joe Thornton. “We haven’t finished particularly well in the last three games and it’s definitely shown on the scoreboard. You’ve just got to concentrate in that last half-second to see where you’re going to shoot and put it in.”

The Flames restored their two-goal cushion after Ladislav Smid’s shot went wide and bounced out the other side for Joe Colborne, who directed it in front for Monahan. The rookie redirected it out of the air for his team-leading 15th goal.

“Obviously, it’s a different feeling in the room right now. We have confidence as a group, we’re sticking together, working hard and we’re having fun doing it,” Monahan said.

Stalock finished the game with 26 stops as his record fell to 7-4-0.

Making his fifth start in his last six games, Ramo improved to 11-10-4.

Notes: The Sharks record for being shutout was 190:22 set in February 2007… Calgary LW Mike Cammalleri (concussion) missed his ninth game. He is back practising with the team and hopes to play Saturday against Minnesota… Tyler Kennedy (lower body) did not play for San Jose. He was hurt Wednesday night in Edmonton… Calgary is 16-9-7 in one-goal games and 4-18 in games decided by two-or-more goals… Since being converted to a forward, San Jose’s Brent Burns has 49 points (23 goals, 26 assists) in 66 games.

Just Posted

Updated: SUV smashes through fences and deck in Anders

Driver taken to hospital after SUV veered off 30th Avenue into Anders

Art on Red Deer billboard a reminder of aboriginal women’s strength

Joane Cardinal-Schubert’s image is part of Resilience Project, shown from coast to coast

Red Deer’s new ‘equity co-ordinator’ will promote tolerance

Andrea Lacoursiere was hired by city with Alberta Human Rights funding

More bridge work this summer in Red Deer’s Coronation Park

The park’s north bridge is being rebuilt to ensure safety

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Cubs’ Kyle Schwarber falls to Bryce Harper in Home Run Derby final

WASHINGTON — Nationals Park was eerily quiet late Monday when Kyle Schwarber… Continue reading

Lava crashes through roof of Hawaii tour boat, injuring 23

HONOLULU — An explosion caused by lava oozing into the ocean sent… Continue reading

Banff holds blessing ceremony with Indigenous elders before letting bison roam

BANFF, Alta. — Several Indigenous elders were flown by helicopter into the… Continue reading

Research expedition looks at unseen depths of Labrador Sea ecosystem

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Last summer, a team of scientists returned from… Continue reading

Protesters camped outside Saskatchewan legislature taking province to court

REGINA — Protesters camped outside the Saskatchewan legislature say they are taking… Continue reading

British PM accepts key amendments from hardline Brexiteers

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday accepted amendments to… Continue reading

‘City of icebergs:’ Study says 100s of Arctic glaciers shrinking, disappearing

The statistics in her recently published paper say it all: hundreds of… Continue reading

U.S. hits back with WTO challenge against Canada’s retaliatory tariffs

OTTAWA — The United States fired back Monday at the Canadian government’s… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month