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It wasn’t discussed before the Calgary Flames
04-15-2019, 11:48 AM,
#1
It wasn’t discussed before the Calgary Flames
SAN JOSE Buffalo Sabres Hoodies Authentic , Calif. (AP) — took the ice Sunday night.It didn’t have to be.With a first divisional championship in 13 years within their grasp, they left nothing to chance.The Flames scored three times in less than two minutes late in the first period on their way to clinching the top spots in the Western Conference and the Pacific Division with a 5-3 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Sunday night.“Nothing was said,” Flames goalie Mike Smith acknowledged when asked about the mood in the locker before the game. “It was pretty quiet as far as talking about that. There was a feeling that everyone knew what was at stake here, and I think we did a good job of looking after what we needed to look after.Sean Monahan, Mark Jankowski, Dalton Prout, Mikael Backlund and Michael Frolik all scored for Calgary, which won for the eighth time in 11 games. The Flames will have home-ice advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.It’s the first time the Flames have won their division since capturing the Northwest title in 2006.“It’s huge,” said Monahan, in his fifth season with Calgary. “I’ve been here a long time now and it’s tough enough to make it to the playoffs, so I think to do what we did is pretty special and it’s something I’ll always remember.“We’ve got a lot of work of ahead of us, and as a group we know what we’re in for.”Timo Meier and Logan Couture each had a goal and an assist and Kevin Labanc also scored for the Sharks Buffalo Sabres Hats Authentic , who lost for the eighth time in nine games after winning six straight.The Flames held San Jose to a season-low 15 shots. The Sharks’ previous low was 20 against Boston on Feb. 26. San Jose managed just nine shots through the first two periods, and just three in the second.The Sharks were coming off an emotional 4-3 overtime victory over Vegas on Saturday in which they clinched second in the Pacific. They looked fatigued Sunday.“We didn’t come out the right way,” Meier said. “We didn’t play the full 60 minutes. I know it’s back-to-back, but we need to be better in those situations, playing high-intensity games.”San Jose will play Vegas in the first round.“I haven’t thought about it yet,” Couture said. “We have three games left to figure things out. They’re a good team. It’s going to be a challenge. We haven’t been playing well. It seems like we’re stuck in mud the last three weeks.”Calgary trailed 1-0 on Meir’s 30th goal before Monahan tied it with his 34th at 14:45 of the first period.Janikowski scored his 34th goal just 31 seconds later, and Prout scored his first of the season at with 3:47 left in the period to put the Flames up 3-1.Sharks goalie Aaron Dell had 23 saves.Backlund scored his 21st goal in the second period, and Frolik his 16th in the third to cap the scoring for Calgary.“It’s a group now that nobody wants to be the guy, nobody wants to be the guy that lets anybody down,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “We know how to play, we know how hard it is and the commitment that it takes, and nobody wants to be that guy that drops the ball. And they’re holding each other accountable Custom Buffalo Sabres Jerseys , and on the bench it’s all positive, it’s real good.”NOTES: Couture has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his last six games. … Flames C Sam Bennett (lower-body injury) missed his fifth straight game. … Dell had given up 14 goals in his previous four games. … Sharks F’s Melker Karlsson and Lukas Radil (lower-body injuries) each missed their second straight game.UP NEXTCalgary: At Los Angeles on Monday night.San Jose: At Vancouver on Tuesday night. ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) The Anaheim Ducks will have plenty of reasons to be proud of their yearlong resilience and late-season determination to make the playoffs after an incredible stretch of early-season injury woes.They’ll also have plenty of time to reflect on those achievements during an extra-long summer for a team that couldn’t put it together in the postseason.The Ducks began the process of breaking up for the offseason this weekend after the San Jose Sharks completed a four-game sweep of their first-round series.”There’s a numbness that’s kind of subsiding now,” coach Randy Carlyle said. ”After the run and the season-long trials and tribulations that you go through, you get to the playoffs and win out and get second place in the division, and four games later, a week later, you’re out of it, which is really numbing.”Anaheim had made the Western Conference finals in two of the previous three seasons, and its six consecutive playoff berths constitute the second-longest active streak in the NHL. The Ducks finished with their fifth consecutive 100-point season – the league’s longest active streak – and went 10-1-1 with five straight victories to close the regular season, even surging into second place in the Pacific Division.But the Ducks’ streak of five straight Pacific titles ended www.officialflames.com , and then their season ended in embarrassing fashion.The Ducks made the playoffs for the 11th time in 13 seasons, but perhaps they simply ran out of steam. Their mad dash to reach the postseason was necessitated by the slow start caused by the club’s numerous injury problems during the first half. Their top two centers – Ryan Kesler and Ryan Getzlaf – missed huge chunks of early play, while goal-scoring forward Patrick Eaves never suited up all year because of Guillain-Barre syndrome.”The adversity that we faced this year was unlike anything I’ve ever seen, especially at the start of the year,” said top defenseman Cam Fowler, who missed the playoffs with a shoulder injury. ”We grinded it out, and to get to the 100-point mark was fantastic. But at the end of the day, you have to make a name for yourself come playoff time, and unfortunately we didn’t do that this year.”Once the Ducks get over the hurt, they’ll evaluate the core of talent that remains in Anaheim after years of contention. General manager Bob Murray will have to decide whether that core is championship-caliber when healthy or whether it’s time to break up one of the NHL’s most consistent winners.Here are more things to know as the Ducks head into a long offseason:MORE SPEEDMurray is among the observers who think the Ducks simply don’t play fast enough to compete optimally in the modern NHL. The Ducks’ heavy, punishing style of play under Carlyle has won plenty of games over the past two years, but it wasn’t enough to keep them in a series with the Sharks Calgary Flames T-Shirts Authentic , who aren’t even the fastest team around. Carlyle will be back next season to make the necessary changes, Murray confirmed. How much of the Ducks’ core returns will be up to Murray, who has built and rebuilt the franchise around Getzlaf and Corey Perry, who will both turn 33 next month.BEAUCH BYEDefenseman Francois Beauchemin says he is retiring after spending the past 13 seasons in the NHL, including three separate stints with Anaheim. His departure removes another link to the Ducks’ championship season, although Getzlaf, Perry and Carlyle are still around.BIEKSA NOT BACKVeteran defenseman Kevin Bieksa also indicated he is unlikely to return after three seasons. He was disappointed with his lack of playoff action after returning from hand surgery. The Ducks’ once-incredible depth on defense has been taxed in the past year with the expansion draft-related departures of Shea Theodore and Clayton Stoner and the trade of Sami Vatanen to New Jersey for Adam Henrique. Murray will need to reload the Ducks’ blue line, with prospects Jacob Larsson, Marcus Pettersson and Andy Welinski likely getting shots at a full-time job.EAVES RETURNThe season-long loss of Eaves was a huge setback, but the Ducks are optimistic their heavily bearded forward will return in the fall. Eaves also had recent shoulder surgery and will turn 34 next month, but he has been the type of consistent goal scorer the Ducks lacked. He would also provide veteran leadership after the possible departures of Beauchemin, Bieksa Calgary Flames Hoodies Authentic , Antoine Vermette, Jason Chimera and others.OFFSEASON LISTSMost of the Ducks’ core is locked up through next season or beyond, including Getzlaf, Perry, Kesler, leading scorer Rickard Rakell, Andrew Cogliano, Fowler and defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson. Anaheim has several key restricted free agents: Nick Ritchie, 20-goal scorer Ondrej Kase and defensemen Brandon Montour and Welinski.—
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