Thursday, April 10, 2008

Flames singe Sharks

Despite a flurry of last minute shots, the Calgary Flames took home ice advantage out of San Jose on Wednesday night, as they opened up their best of seven series with a 3-2 victory over the Sharks at the Tank.

The game featured much of the board banging intensity that many said was set to collide when these two teams matched up. It’s a style that really should make this series one of the most watch able of the early round series. Each team matches up well in both offense, defence and goaltending. Though on Wednesday Miikka Kiprusoff seemed to be back in his traditional playoff zone, able to move from side to side, bobbing and weaving to follow the play and for the most part keep the Sharks off of their lead for the bulk of the game. He was the main story for the Flames, who more than a few times reverted to some of their bad habits of leaving men in front of the net and not hustling enough to capture the wayward pucks.

While the Sharks no doubt believe a better fate should have been theirs on Wednesday night, and they did seem to control a good portion of the play at times, when the final counting is done, it’s which team has the most goals on the scoreboard that wins; Wednesday it was the Flames by one.

Two of those goals came from a most unexpected source, as Stephane Yelle provided two of the Flames three goals on the night, the first goal of the game and the goal that eventually would be required to secure victory as the Sharks mounted their frantic final minute surge.

The reviews take a good look at how the Flames frustrated the Sharks during the course of game one and highlight the areas where the Sharks will have to improve, if they wish to return to the status of favourites in this series and in the West.

Globe and Mail-- Flames hang on for victory
Canoe sports-- Yelle wakes up Flames
San Jose Mercury News-- Welcome to the playoffs
San Jose Mercury News-- Sharks stumble
Calgary Sun-- Scorer? Yelle, yeah
Calgary Herald-- Flames take Game 1
. Stats Pack

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