Karlsson Sets Career High in Assists, Sharks Lose 5-3 to Flames; Ninth straight loss for San Jose

Calgary Flames center Mikael Backlund (11) is all smiles as the Flames had a break out game against the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome in Calgary on Sat Mar 25, 2023. Sharks goaltender Kappo Kahkonen (36) can only skate away (photo by NHLFlames)

By Matthew Harrington

The San Jose Sharks lost their ninth consecutive contest Saturday Afternoon, falling to the Calgary Flames 5-3 from Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary. Erik Karlsson picked up a pair of assists notch a single-season high in assists and Nico Sturm, Logan Couture and Martin Kaut scored, but the lone good news from the Sharks (19-39-15) this weekend was via the signing of college prospect Henry Thrun out of Harvard.

Tyler Toffoli scored twice for the Flames to surpass the 30 goal mark and tie a career high for the Flames (33-26-15) who now sit four points pack of the Winnipeg Jets for the last Wild Card spot in the Western Conference.

Nazem Kadri scored 5:45 into the third period, netting his 23rd of the year, to put Calgary ahead 4-3. Tyler Toffoli added the empty netter with 1:10 left in play for the final score. The Sharks had led 3-2 late in the second period after trailing 2-1 after the first period.

MacKenzie Weegar and Toffoli scored in the first 10 minutes of the first period but Logan Couture’s netfront drive put the Sharks on the board at the 14:25 mark of the period. Karlsson took a pass from Andrew Agozzino and drove down the right wing, pulling Jacob Markstrom to the post before feathering a pass to a crashing Couture for a deflection goal, his 25th score of the year. Karlsson picked up his 67th assist, a single-season career high on the play.

Nico Sturm tied the game 4:52 into the second period, backhanding a Noah Gregor shot pass by Markstrom for his 14th goal of the year. Karlsson assisted on the goal as well, his 90th point of the year with nine games left to play. Martin Kaut added his third goal of the year and second with the Sharks since coming over at the trade deadline just 22 seconds later.

The Flames responded at the 5:39 mark of the period, tying the game just 25 seconds after the Kaut goal. Trevor Lewis intercepted a failed Sharks clear and passed it to Walker Deuhr, open to Kaapo Kahkonen’s right on the far post. Deuhr ripped it home for his fifth goal of the season. Kahkonen made 25 saves on 29 shots in the Sharks net.

The Sharks return home Tuesday night looking to snap their losing skid. They’ll face the Winnipeg Jets, the team directly above the Calgary Flames in the standings. After that, the Vegas Golden Knights await a Thursday night tilt at home for the Sharks. The possibility that the loss streak will be at 11 by the time the Sharks face the Coyotes in Glendale on Saturday remains real given the quality of opponents ahead.

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