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Calgary

Flames earn 5-1 season-ending victory over league-worst Sharks

Blake Coleman scored his 30th goal and MacKenzie Weegar got his 20th as the Calgary Flames set multiple personal milestones in a season-ending 5-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

Adam Klapka, with his first NHL goal, Oliver Kylington and Kevin Rooney also scored for Calgary (38-39-5). The Flames finished 25th overall in missing the post-season for the second year in a row.

Dustin Wolf, who lost his bid for his first NHL shutout with nine seconds left in the game, had 16 stops. The rookie finished his season on a four-game winning streak to level his record at 7-7-1.

Fabian Zetterlund scored the only goal for San Jose (19-54-9), which finished last overall. The Sharks have missed the playoffs the past five seasons. Mikael Granlund had an assist to end the season on a 13-game point streak (two goals, 13 assists).

It was another tough night for Sharks starter Devin Cooley, who was pulled for the second game in a row. After giving up eight goals on 22 shots on Monday in Edmonton, he was beaten five times on 23 shots before getting the hook on Thursday from coach David Quinn. He falls to 2-3-1.

Georgi Romanov had 14 stops in relief.

Calgary jumped out to a 2-0 lead on first-period goals less than three minutes apart.

Klapka, the six-foot-eight Czech in his sixth NHL game, opened the scoring at 12:13. After the 23-year-old spun in the high slot and whiffed on his first shot, he reeled it back in and fired it again, this time finding the top corner.

Coleman’s goal, the first time the 32-year-old has reached 30, was an easy tap-in at the side of the net after he was set up on a perfect pass from Connor Zary.

Coleman had missed the previous four games with an upper-body injury. Coleman’s previous career best was 22 with the New Jersey Devils in 2018-19.

Calgary blew the game open early in the second with three more goals in a span of just over three minutes.

Kylington whipped a point shot into the top corner at 3:53, Rooney picked the top corner at 5:59, and Weegar’s rising shot from the blue line found the back of the net at 6:56.

Only Roman Josi (23) and Cale Makar (21) have more goals than Weegar among defencemen.

Weegar’s breakout season comes in the 30-year-old’s seventh NHL campaign. He had never scored more than eight before. Last season, his first with the Flames after coming over from Florida, he had four goals.

The only milestone being chased that wasn’t reached was Nazem Kadri’s 30th goal.

First-goal club

Klapka is the fifth Flames player to score his first NHL goal this season. Connor Zary, Matt Coronato, Martin Pospisil, and Nick DeSimone — who was later traded to New Jersey — also accomplished that feat.

Sharks bite

San Jose’s .287 point percentage is the second-worst in the NHL in the last 24 years, better only than the 2019-20 Detroit Red Wings (.275). It’s the worst Sharks season since 1995-96 when they had an identical point total. The franchise record (.143) was set in 1992-93.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on April 18, 2024.

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