Flames-Sharks Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 16, 2012
Before losing this weekend, the Calgary Flames were nearly flawless at home for much of the past two months. It's been quite the opposite away from there. The Flames' chances of avoiding their longest road losing streak in nearly five years don't appear promising as they'll visit the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night. Calgary (21-20-5) had earned a point in 11 straight home games (10-0-1) before falling 4-1 to Los Angeles on Saturday in the return of former coach Darryl Sutter, the brother of current Flames coach Brent Sutter. Michael Cammalleri, re-acquired from Montreal on Thursday, scored late in the second period during his first game back with the Flames but that goal came after the Kings had built a 3-0 lead. "It was a tough loss. We really wanted to win that one," Cammalleri said. "I thought we came out real strong and had a good first period and then they got a couple goals there that hurt us and we couldn't make it up." The Flames have gotten off to slow starts in their past three road games against the Sharks, getting outscored a combined 9-2 in the first period. That has led to three straight defeats at the HP Pavilion by a 19-7 total, including a 9-1 rout Jan. 18, 2010. Another such performance could lead Calgary to a sixth straight loss away from home for the first time since an 0-3-4 skid from Jan. 26-Feb. 22, 2007. San Jose (25-12-5), which has won three in a row against the Flames, enter this matchup having gone 10-2-2 in its last 14 games and 7-1-1 in its last nine at home. The Sharks could be hungry Tuesday to bounce back from their first regulation loss of the new year, 4-3 in Chicago on Sunday night. San Jose rallied from an early 2-0 deficit and Tommy Wingels scored his first NHL goal with less than five minutes remaining, but the Sharks couldn't find an equalizer on a late power play. "We're not overly flattered with the 4-3 score. It could have easily been a lot worse," said coach Todd McLellan, whose team is 6-1-1 in 2012. The Sharks prevailed 6-3 in their previous matchup with the Flames on March 23 in San Jose as Patrick Marleau scored two of his team's four goals in the first period. One of those was Andrew Desjardins' first NHL goal, but the rookie center's status is unknown because of an undisclosed injury. Desjardins hasn't played since taking hit in the head in a 2-1 win in Columbus on Saturday. Logan Couture, who also scored in that March victory, has two goals and three assists during the three-game win streak over the Flames. Joe Pavelski has a team-best six points (one goal, five assists), and Ryane Clowe has two goals and three assists. Calgary captain Jarome Iginla, meanwhile, has four goals and an assist over the past six matchups, and Cammalleri has two goals and an assist in his past two.
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