The San Jose Sharks lost the last time they visited the Calgary Flames. The pictured keys can ensure that is the only blemish head-to-head against the once-again Pacific Division rivals on Monday, March 24.
Since the loss Jan. 30, the Sharks are 12-3-2. They have since gotten Logan Couture, Adam Burish, Marty Havlat and Tyler Kennedy back but lost Brad Stuart. With the roster's return to health, they have scored 46 goals in 13 games. However, a win by the Anaheim Ducks gave the 2013 Pacific Division champions a better point percentage as well as the first tiebreak.
Since the trade deadline, the Flames seem more confident offensively. They have gone 4-2-0 and scored 28 goals not including their shootout winner. If they lose and the Pacific Division rival Phoenix Coyotes win Monday, they will be just five points from being eliminated from the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs.
Over the entire 2013-14 NHL season, Calgary scores 2.48 goals on 26.8 shots per game and allows 2.92 on 28, with a 15.4 percent power play and 81.7 penalty kill, compiling a 16-17-3 home record. San Jose scores 2.93 goals on 34.9 shots and allows 2.32 on 27.7, with a 16.0 percent power play and 84.7 percent penalty kill, compiling a 20-13-3 road record.
A win will move the Sharks back to the best record in the Pacific Division for home-ice advantage until the Western Conference finals and clinch a berth in the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. Even with a loss, they make the postseason with a loss by either the Coyotes or Dallas Stars.
Look for San Jose to fight for an early lead to enable rolling four lines, saving a little for the Edmonton Oilers Tuesday. Look for Calgary to force the competition late enough to keep the benches are short in the third period before losing, 4-2 thanks to an empty-net goal.