The Sharks, shut out in their previous two games, made sure their offensive struggles didn't reach record proportions. Eriah Hayes recorded his first NHL goal 36 seconds into the third period to cut Calgary's lead to 2-1 and end a Sharks' scoring drought that had reached 160 minutes and 36 seconds.
Before Hayes scored, San Jose's last goal came from Joe Thornton in a 3-2 overtime win over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The Sharks' franchise scoreless streak record is 190:22, set over four games in February 2007.
But the Sharks, playing on back-to-back nights and their fourth game in six days, weren't able to sustain that momentum as they managed just seven shots in the third period.
"It was a relief to get a goal, it was a big goal. We had some looks, but we weren't very opportunistic," Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle said. "Credit the other team for what they're doing, but you have to also look in the mirror to see if there are things you can do better or change."
With the Flames leading 2-0 in the second period, the Sharks let a glorious chance for a goal get away.
James Sheppard drove toward the net on a breakaway, and his shot got behind Flames goalie Karri Ramo. But the puck was kept out of the net by defenseman Mark Giordano. Hayes followed the play and had another whack at the puck from in close, but it stayed out.
"I found the puck behind their goalie. I have to put that one home," Hayes said. "Their d-man came out of nowhere and made a nice play. It bounced off me, it bounced off the post and somehow squirted out. I have to bear down on that and put it in the back of the net."
The first period had the opposite feel of Wednesday's game in Edmonton, even though the end result was the same. Whereas the Sharks outshot the Oilers 20-7 in the first, the Flames had a 12-8 advantage in that area on Thursday. In both games, San Jose trailed 1-0 after one, as Lee Stempniak scored for Calgary 9:41 into the game.
"Coming off back-to-back nights, it's hard. But I thought in the second period, we responded well," Sharks captain Joe Thornton said. "They played well. They play a hard checking game. We had some chances, we just couldn't bear down."
Forward Tyler Kennedy had a lower-body injury and did not play. Kennedy is considered day to day, McLellan said.
Kennedy had just seven shifts and had 2 minutes and 55 seconds of ice time before he left Wednesday's 3-0 loss to Edmonton.McLellan said Logan Couture is working toward returning to the team from his hand injury before the Olympic break, which, for the Sharks, begins Feb. 8. The Sharks play four games at home before the break begins.