San Jose Sharks vs. Calgary Flames Pick & Prediction APRIL 9th 2024

The effort has been there for the Calgary Flames. The results have not.

Having already been eliminated from Stanley Cup playoff contention, the Flames will be playing for pride the rest of the season. They will look to snap a three-game skid when they kick off a three-game trip through California on Tuesday with a contest against the San Jose Sharks.

The Flames (34-37-5, 73 points) are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday, though they believe they deserved a better fate against their provincial rivals.

“We battled hard,” Calgary forward Jonathan Huberdeau said. “Just shows they’ve got a good power play, they took advantage of that. We came up short, but I thought we were the better team.”

Calgary has dropped eight of nine games and 11 of 14 outings since the trade deadline.

The Flames do have some positives to get them through the rest of the campaign. Forward Yegor Sharangovich, acquired last summer from the New Jersey Devils in the first of five trades that sent pending unrestricted free agents elsewhere, scored his 30th goal on Saturday. The total is an ongoing career high.

Calgary also took a glimpse of the future by trying rookie Connor Zary at center. Zary, who has collected 12 goals and 30 points in 57 games, fared well against the Oilers.

“He hasn’t played there all year and after missing a game it was a tough ask of him, but I thought he did a really good job,” coach Ryan Huska said.

The Flames likely will have forward Andrew Mangiapane back in the lineup after he missed the past five games due to injury. However, defenseman Oliver Kylington was injured late in the Edmonton contest and is expected to miss at least the first game of the trip.

The Sharks will conclude a five-game homestand in which they have only one victory so far. San Jose (18-51-8, 44 points) is close to clinching last place in the league standings and has managed only two wins in its past 14 games (2-11-1).

The latest setback was a 5-2 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday after the teams were tied 2-2 entering the third period.

“I thought we played pretty good in the first and second (periods), enough to keep ourselves in the game, and then in the third I don’t know whether it was a back-to-back or we just weren’t dialed in, we just kind of slid off the gas, and that’s what’s going to happen,” said defenseman Henry Thrun, who collected one goal and one assist.

The Sharks won their lone meeting with the Flames this season, a 6-3 triumph in Calgary on Feb. 15. The teams will face each other to finish the season on April 18.

With their situation, the remainder of the season for both clubs will be most about providing experience for young players and, if possible, inserting more youth into the lineup.

In San Jose’s case, Collin Graf, a free agent signee out of Quinnipiac University, made his NHL debut on Saturday in the Sharks’ 3-2 overtime win over the St. Louis Blues. He collected his first NHL point, an assist, against the Coyotes.

“You can tell he’s smart player, he can make plays,” San Jose forward Luke Kunin said. “He found me there early in the slot. He’s young. It takes time, but in two games, he’s done a great job.”

Heading into play Tuesday, San Jose forward Mikael Granlund is riding an eight-game point streak in which he has collected two goals and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

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