SAN JOSE, Calif. – Coach Todd McLellan was happy his San Jose Sharks rallied for a shootout win. What upset him is he felt they had to win the game twice because of a goal that was disallowed in overtime.
After Justin Braun’s apparent winner was waved off for goaltender interference, the Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 2-1 in the shootout Tuesday night on goals from Michal Handzus and Brent Burns.
Braun’s goal didn’t count because of an interference call on San Jose’s Tommy Wingels. Replays appeared to show that Calgary’s Olli Jokinen hit goalie Miikka Kiprusoff with his stick.
“Obviously we can come in here, look at the replay and see that it was not the right call. They don’t have that luxury,” McLellan said. “Regulation and overtime wins mean a lot more than shootout wins, and we don’t have one in the bank, and we probably should have.”
The Sharks did prevail in the shootout. After neither team scored in the first round, Handzus beat Kiprusoff with a backhand to give San Jose the lead. Michael Cammalleri missed at the other end for the Flames, and then Burns won it with a sharp backhand.
It was his fifth goal in 13 career shootout attempts, including two against Kiprusoff. But it was his first attempt of the season.
“He was on his toes, made some crisp plays, so we chose to use him,” McLellan said. “We’ve been going with the same group of players, and sometimes teams can do a good pre-scout, so we decided to change it up a little bit.”
Torrey Mitchell tied the game midway through the third period and Antti Niemi made 27 saves and was perfect in the shootout. The Sharks earned just their third win all season when trailing after two periods.
Chris Butler scored the lone goal for the Flames, who have lost six straight road games. Calgary had been 14-0-2 when leading after two periods but was unable to hold onto this lead in the latest road disappointment. Kiprusoff made 30 saves.
“It was one of our better efforts,” captain Jarome Iginla said. “We could have had a win tonight but unfortunately the puck didn’t go in the net for us. I thought we worked hard and were creating. It’s still an important point and a big step in the right direction as far as the way we want to play on the road.”
The Sharks finally broke through with their first goal midway through the third to tie the game. Handzus’ original shot was saved by Kiprusoff, but he knocked the rebound back toward the goal. Mitchell came from behind the net to get the loose puck and knock it in for his fifth goal.
“These one-goal games hopefully down the road will help us in the playoffs,” Mitchell said. “‘It seems like we can’t find a game where we score five or six goals. Every game has been tight. Our team, we’re resilient.”
That’s where the game stood until the shootout, thanks in part to a sharp glove save by Kiprusoff on Jamie McGinn in the final minute of regulation and the goaltender interference cal.
“It was a complete game on our part,” Flames coach Brent Sutter said. “We had opportunities, and once it gets to overtime anything can happen. We wanted to play a game where we were on our toes and the guys did a good job of that.”
Kiprusoff was at his best midway through the second period when he made a strong stop on Patrick Marleau and then slid to rob Handzus with a sprawling save on the rebound to keep the game scoreless.
The Flames quickly answered at the other end when Iginla’s pass to Cammalleri near the top of the crease missed its target and bounced off the side boards to Butler at the point. Butler then sent a slap shot past Niemi for his second goal of the season.
Calgary missed a chance to add to the lead when T.J. Brodie’s pass to a wide-open Iginla in front of the net hit Iginla’s skate instead of his stick and trickled back to Niemi at the side of the net.
The Sharks matched a season low with just four shots in the opening period, but missed chances when Frazer McLaren hit the post on a 2-on-1, and Joe Pavelski shot one off the crossbar on the power play.
Notes: Calgary F Curtis Glencross left the game in the second period with an undisclosed lower body injury and didn’t return. … The Flames had no power plays. … Sharks F Ryane Clowe sat out with an undisclosed upper body injury. He had played three games since crashing face first into the boards last week in Minnesota.