Toskala made 29 saves, and the San Jose Sharks got goals from
four scorers Monday night in a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames
that kept them unbeaten in the young season.
Coming off a shutout victory Saturday over the New York
Islanders with Evgeni Nabokov in net, San Jose coach Ron Wilson
went back to opening night goaltender Toskala. The move paid off.
"Every time I get in there, my goal is to relax, enjoy it, and
give my team a chance to win. That's all I can control," said
Toskala, on a franchise-record, nine-game winning streak that dates
to last season.
His only mistake in this one came on Alex Tanguay's first Flames
goal with 3 minutes remaining in the game.
"I felt good and I got a couple of good saves at the beginning
of the game and that helped me get into it," said the 29-year-old
Toskala, whose emergence was one of the reasons the Sharks traded
Miikka Kiprusoff to the Flames in 2003.
Having scored just four goals on the season, Calgary (1-2) will
embark on a four-game Eastern trip Thursday in Ottawa.
Toskala's best stop came midway through the second period with
the Sharks up 2-0. Jarome Iginla neatly set up Daymond Langkow at
the side of the net only to have Toskala dive across and rob
Langkow of what looked like a sure goal. Langkow broke his stick
over the back of the net in frustration.
"I realized (Iginla) wasn't going to shoot and there was a guy
wide open on the back door," Toskala said. "It was just a
desperation save, I just dove across, and was lucky to get it."
With the teams playing 4-on-4, Michalek put the game out of
reach by scoring with 37 seconds left in the second period to make
Patrick Marleau broke in alone on Kiprusoff. He was stopped on
his deke attempt but Marleau was able to gather the rebound and
slide the puck back in front. Michalek was there to score his third
of the season just inside the goal post. Marleau finished with
Calgary had several chances to get back in the game, receiving
six consecutive power plays during one stretch in the second period
and into the third. But Calgary couldn't convert, finishing
1-for-10 with the extra man and extending its season-opening
drought to 1-for-25.
"It was a bad game for us, I don't know what else to say,"
Iginla said. "We have no excuses as players, we realize that."
San Jose took a 1-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the first
period on Ehrhoff's power-play goal.
Joe Thornton took a pass from Marleau and streaked across the
front of the Flames net, drawing defenseman Robyn Regehr out of
position. That left the front of the net vacant for Ehrhoff, who
took Thornton's drop pass and beat Kiprusoff with a wrist shot.
"We came out hard, got the puck in deep, went to work on their
`D' a little bit, and our goalie played unbelievable," Smith said.
"When that happens, it's hard to lose those games."
The Sharks opened up a 2-0 advantage 1:21 into the second period
when Bernier jammed in a loose puck.
"In the past couple years, we've gotten off to tough starts so
this year, our goal was to come ready for the season," Bernier
San Jose finished 2-for-5 on the power play.
San Jose placed LW Mark Bell (groin) on the injured list
and activated LW Ryan Clowe, who had been out with a foot injury.
... Smith took Bell's spot on the top line alongside Thornton and
Jonathan Cheechoo. ... Cheechoo is goal-less in the Sharks' first
three games. Only once last season after Thornton's acquisition in
November did Cheechoo go that long without scoring.
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: Scotiabank Saddledome Location: Calgary, Alberta
Referees: Dennis LaRue, Chris Rooney Linesmen: Steve Barton, Pierre Champoux
Attendance: 19,289 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
Christian Ehrhoff (2)
(Power Play) Assists: Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau
Steve Bernier (3)
Assist: Patrick Marleau
Milan Michalek (6)
Assists: Patrick Marleau, Kyle McLaren
Mark Smith (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Scott Hannan, Jonathan Cheechoo
Alex Tanguay (1)
(Power Play) Assists: Jarome Iginla, Dion Phaneuf