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Meier Leaves Game with Injury, Sharks 4-3 Comeback Win

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CALGARY — The San Jose Sharks visit the Saddledome for their first post-Trade Deadline game. Marc-Edouard Vlasic got the Sharks on the scoreboard after the Calgary Flames put up a quick two-spot — and Timo Meier, Alexander Barabanov, and Logan Couture spearheaded a thrilling 4-3 comeback victory.

Period 1

His first shift: Merkley does a good job from point to find a shot lane. He has to do that more. First Karlsson-Merkley shift — not bad.

Gaudreau goal: Hertl-Bonino to start PK not customary Couture-Cogliano. Looked like Balcers was ready to jump on with Couture but Gaudreau beat Reimer.

7 in: Karlsson rubs out Toffoli, he’s the heavy in this pairing lol.

Dube goal: Reimer getting beat straight up with shots. Not getting great help defensively or from bounces, but maybe we see Kahkonen tonight.

10 in: DZ Flames faceoff win, spring Dube, looks like they were targeting Merkley there and Dube still got a good chance.

Vlasic goal: Barabanov forecheck forces Monahan into a hurried pass that Vlasic eats up, looks like it beats Markstrom clean. Not great goaltending so far tonight from two of the season’s better-performing netminders.

5 left: Good chance by Chmelevski. Skates it through NZ, he’s a good stickhandler, fires it glove high.

2 left: Merkley wasn’t ready for the Lewis forecheck on PP entry. Granted, not a lot of help, his San Jose Sharks teammates can’t treat him like Karlsson, they need to help out. But look: There’s a reason why Middleton of all people was slotting in PP2 while Merkley toiled with Cuda. Right now, his defense and even his PP quarterbacking is suspect at the NHL level.

San Jose Sharks are still competing: Actually outshot Calgary 14-9, though SPORTLOGiQ has Flames with 2-1 Slot Shots, while Natural Stat Trick has Calgary up 2-1 High-Danger at 5-on-5. So not a lot of dangerous chances in all.

Period 2

3 in: Chmelevski doesn’t dump in, he makes a move on entry, creates space for himself. Like.

Gaudreau goal: Bad turnover by Karlsson, but really, that happens. He’s trying to make a play, that’s not the concern. The concern is his recovery read and feet — he lunges at Gaudreau, child’s play for Johnny Hockey — once Karlsson’s feet gets planted, he’s a statue defending rush.

5 in: Oh so gently, Lucic just pushes Merkley out the way on forecheck. Milan had mercy there.

Flames 7-1 shots through seven.

Looks like Merkley draws a call on Lucic there. More of that than the bad, Merkley will settle into an NHL job.

10 in: Leonard can snap it. From wall, gets it quick to Markstrom. As power play was ending, I see some of Chmelevski’s skating struggles. Those first steps are rough. Once he gets going — and he actually seems to skate okay with puck — it’s alright.

4 left: Merkley jumps up, enters zone, but gives it up along wall. So far, that’s been an issue with Merkley. He can break into zone, but doesn’t do much when he’s there — unlike a Karlsson — so the counterattack there is a bad trade-off. Merkley enters, great but nothing happens, counterattack gets legit chances.

Meier goal: Back-to-back games with a 5-on-5 goal from him. From Jan. 17 to before Arizona game, was empty in that category. That’s what you want from Timo, just shoot it from everywhere, keep at it with that, even if there are inevitable dry spells when your shot quality isn’t always outstanding.

2 left: Karlsson gets outhustled down the ice by Toffoli who gets to loose puck. That can’t happen. Karlsson has had an awful period.

Period 3

2 in: Strong Burns’s stick, doesn’t allow Dube to break through.

4 in: Leonard burns three chasing Flames, gets shot off. Want to see more of that, his best game since his recall.

6 in: No problem with Tkachuk reverse hit on Gadjovich, but looks like he added a little elbow.

Barabanov goal: Great work by forwards to keep it alive.

Couture goal: How good was that play by Gregor? Burns area pass, Gregor juggles to beat the defender on entry. Tricky. Good defensive positioning on forecheck by Chmelevski too.

Can hear, “Come on, Greggy!” from up here. That’s his official nickname.

1 left: What a glove save by Reimer without a stick. What a stand by Reimer! I didn’t like his first period, but there’s the importance of having the mental strength to stick with it.

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