Flames
Sharks
3 - 2 Final
  for this game

Yelle scores twice as Flames edge Sharks

Apr 10, 2008 - 6:40 AM
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) -- Stephane Yelle scored three goals during the regular season. He nearly matched that output in the Calgary Flames' playoff opener.

Yelle scored twice and Miikka Kiprusoff made 37 saves as the seventh-seeded Flames withstood a late surge to post a 3-2 victory over the second-seeded San Jose Sharks on Wednesday in Game One of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.

Defenseman Dion Phaneuf added a power-play goal and captain Jarome Iginla recorded a pair of assists for the Flames, who were outshot, 39-23.

"We only expect it to get harder every game, and every game means more," Iginla said. "It's a big game, the first game of the series. ... This feels good getting the first one, but now the first one's done. Every game gets more important."

Calgary coach Mike Keenan was not worried about the difference in shots.

"Sometimes you are concerned, but the feel at ice level is, (San Jose's shots) came in flurries," he said. "It wasn't a major concern. You always put the puck at the net and anything can happen, but Kipper was really strong for us. ... We have encouraged our players to shoot the puck more often than they do, but I don't know if the shots on goal always reflect the play."

Ryane Clowe netted both tallies for San Jose, which went 0-for-2 on the power play.

"We've obviously talked about staying disciplined and playing with some physicality, but at the same time staying out of the penalty box," Keenan said. "It's playoff hockey, so you have to play hard and with discipline."

"I'm encouraged by how we played," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We played hard all night. We've got to make Kipper's job a little more difficult. We need more traffic in front of him."

The Sharks look to even the series when they host Game Two on Thursday.

"No disadvantage to playing tomorrow. They have to play, too," Wilson said. "It's better to get right back on the horse if you think you fell off."

A heavy underdog, Calgary grabbed a two-goal lead less than 5 1/2 minutes into the game.

Following a faceoff in the left circle, defenseman Robyn Regehr unleashed a rising wrist shot from the left point. Standing in the bottom of the circle, Yelle deflected the airborne puck past goaltender Evgeni Nabokov at 2:47 of the first period for his 10th career postseason goal and a 1-0 lead.

"It's always good to get the first goal and go from there," Yelle said. "It was a redirection, and those are tough."

"There was a high energy level in the building," Keenan said. "When you can diffuse that enthusiasm by scoring first on the road, it helps. That was a big goal for us."

It was the first tally since January 22 against Minnesota for Yelle, who scored just three times in 74 regular-season games. The veteran was rumored to have been in jeopardy of even playing Wednesday after missing Saturday's regular-season finale with a leg injury, but Keenan denied that claim.

"Yelle was not a game-time decision," he said. "We just wanted to make sure that he was comfortable. He said he was ready a day or two ago, but we wanted to take it right to the start of the game to make sure that he felt comfortable. He said he felt really good."

With the Flames on the power play, Nabokov stopped a shot from the top of the left circle, but the rebound popped into the air. Iginla batted the puck across the crease and it found its way into the low slot, where Phaneuf wristed it into the net at 5:17.

"It's tough to win a game when you spot them two right off the hop," San Jose's Joe Thornton said.

San Jose halved the deficit just 49 seconds later.

Patrick Marleau carried the puck down the left wing and was forced wide by defenseman Cory Sarich. The Sharks captain skated around the net and dished to Clowe, who beat Kiprusoff from the slot at 6:06 to draw San Jose within 2-1.

"He had six or eight shots on goal, he was going hard to the front of the net and that's why he got rewarded," Wilson said of Clowe.

Yelle restored Calgary's two-goal bulge with a controversial goal late in the second period.

After taking a shot that was stopped by Nabokov, Iginla skated into the crease and collided with the left goalpost. As the net was rising off its moorings, Yelle buried the rebound from the slot with 3:39 remaining.

"That was a great play from Iggy to fight his way to the net," Yelle said. "I just followed it."

Following a video review, the ruling on the ice stood, giving Yelle his second goal of the night and the Flames a 3-1 advantage.

"(Iginla is) obviously their best forward and you have to be aware of him at all times," Sharks defenseman Brian Campbell said.

Yelle's first goal also was disputed by Nabokov, who believed the puck was deflected with a high stick. But Wilson agreed with both rulings.

"They were both goals," he said. "On the first one, there was no definitive replay that shows that it was a high stick or not. It was really close. They will go with what the referee says, and both referees called it a goal.

"The second one - that one's a tight, tight call. But it goes to the league office. That's it."

Yelle was more convinced his second goal would count than his first one.

"The first one, I wasn't sure," he said. "The second one, I had a pretty good idea that it went in first, so it turned out good for us."

The Sharks had a glorious chance to get back within a goal early in the third. But Thornton's shot during a breakaway rang off the left goalpost with just 24 seconds gone by in the period.

San Jose finally cashed in with 57 seconds to go, as Clowe buried his own rebound from the low slot after Kiprusoff made a brilliant save on his first attempt.

"It was close at the end," Clowe said. "I think we need to get a little bit more traffic in front. What happened there in the last 50 seconds, we had a logjam there in front and created some havoc."

But the Finnish netminder did not face another shot as the Sharks applied pressure but were unable to score the equalizer.

"When they're pushing hard, that's what usually happens," Kiprusoff said of Clowe's late goal. "But we were able to hang in there, and it's a good start for the series."








  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 2 1 0 3
    SAN JOSE 1 0 1 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 1 (ROBYN REGEHR) 2:47
    CGY - (PP) DION PHANEUF 1 (DAYMOND LANGKOW, JAROME IGINLA)
    5:17
    SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 6:06
    2ND PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 2 (JAROME I

    Apr 10 12:36 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CALGARY 3
    SAN JOSE 2
    3RD PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 2 (JOE THORNTON, BRIAN CAMPBELL) 19:03

    Flames 3, Sharks 2  3rd - 0:57Apr 10 12:34 AM
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    RUWTbot Added 17 roots (Close Finish)

    Flames 3, Sharks 2  3rd - 0:57Apr 10 12:34 AM
  • 20
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    bones Added 5 roots

    Flames 3, Sharks 1  3rd - 14:45Apr 10 12:13 AM
  • 15
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Flames 3, Sharks 1  End of 2ndApr 10 12:00 AM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 2 1 3
    SAN JOSE 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 1 (ROBYN REGEHR) 2:47
    CGY - (PP) DION PHANEUF 1 (DAYMOND LANGKOW, JAROME IGINLA)
    5:17
    SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 6:06
    2ND PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELL

    Apr 9 11:41 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CALGARY 3
    SAN JOSE 1
    2ND PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 2 (JAROME IGINLA) 16:21

    Flames 3, Sharks 1  2nd - 3:39Apr 9 11:36 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    CALGARY 2 2
    SAN JOSE 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 1 (ROBYN REGEHR) 2:47
    CGY - (PP) DION PHANEUF 1 (DAYMOND LANGKOW, JAROME IGINLA)
    5:17
    SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 6:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2

    Apr 9 10:46 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CALGARY 2
    SAN JOSE 1
    1ST PRD: SAN - RYANE CLOWE 1 (PATRICK MARLEAU, JOE PAVELSKI) 6:06

    Flames 2, Sharks 1  1st - 13:54Apr 9 10:23 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CALGARY 2
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - (PP) DION PHANEUF 1 (JAROME IGINLA, KRISTIAN HUSELIUS)
    5:17

    Flames 2, Sharks 0  1st - 14:43Apr 9 10:22 PM


  • PLAYOFFS
    NHL CALGARY 1
    SAN JOSE 0
    1ST PRD: CGY - STEPHANE YELLE 1 (ROBYN REGEHR) 2:47

    Flames 1, Sharks 0  1st - 17:13Apr 9 10:18 PM
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    Flames vs. SharksApr 9 12:14 PM
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    Flames vs. SharksApr 7 10:46 AM