Calgary at San Jose
When: 10:00 PM
ET, Saturday, January 17, 2015
Where: SAP Center at San Jose, San Jose, California
Mikael Backlund has hit the ground running since his return from a 29-game absence because of abdominal surgery. After scoring a goal in each of the last four contests, Backlund looks to lead the Flames to their third consecutive victory when they visit the Pacific Division-rival San Jose Sharks on Saturday.
Backlund, who also has two assists in the stretch, opened the scoring in the second period before Calgary netted three goals in the third en route to a 4-1 triumph over Arizona on Thursday.
While the sixth victory in nine contests improved the Flames to 1-1-0 on their five-game road trip, San Jose won its second straight to open its season-high seven-game homestand. Tyler Kennedy and Patrick Marleau scored 11 seconds apart midway through the first period in the Sharks' 3-1 triumph over Toronto on Thursday. Marleau also netted the tie-breaking goal midway into the third as San Jose evened its series with the Flames at one victory apiece with a 3-2 win at Scotiabank Saddledome on Dec. 6.
TV: 10 p.m. ET, CBC (Calgary), CSN California (San Jose)
ABOUT THE FLAMES (23-18-3): Recalled from Adirondack of the American Hockey League last week, Joni Ortio followed up his first career shutout in a 36-save gem versus Vancouver last Saturday by turning aside 27 shots in a sterling effort against Arizona. "'Orts' gave us another great game," coach Bob Hartley told the Calgary Herald. "In control. Battled. Had many saves where he had to battle through traffic and had great focus." Jiri Hudler, who has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last three games, netted both goals in Calgary's 2-0 victory over San Jose on Nov. 26 and added an assist in the more recent contest last month.
ABOUT THE SHARKS (24-16-5): Marleau's goal versus the Maple Leafs was the 445th of his career, moving him into sole possession of 60th place on the NHL's all-time list. The veteran's tally also served as the game-winner - his 86th, tying him with Joe Sakic and Pierre Turgeon for 19th place. Antti Niemi made 24 saves against Toronto and has turned aside 80-of-85 shots over the last three games.
1. Calgary C Lance Bouma has five assists in his last three contests after recording 10 all of last season.
2. San Jose has killed off all nine short-handed situations over its last three games.
3. Flames RW David Jones collected a goal and an assist versus the Coyotes to extend his point streak to a career high-tying four games.
PREDICTION: Sharks 3, Flames 2
Stats and Records