Joe Thornton scored with 9.4 seconds left in the third period to cap a comeback for the San Jose Sharks at the Saddledome last night.
With the Flames clinging to a 2-1 lead, Jonathan Cheechoo scored to tie the game at a 15:06 of the third period before Thornton tipped a point shot by Douglas Murray to send the majority of the 19,289 fans at the ’Dome home unhappy.
“Dougy made a great shot and I just happened to get a stick on it,” Thornton told CBC after being named the game’s first star.
Ryane Clowe also scored for the Sharks, who tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2 with Game 5 slated for tomorrow night (8 p.m. MST) back in San Jose.
“It’s a huge win for us,” Shark captain Patrick Marleau told CBC. “We’ve got home-ice (advantage) back now.”
Jarome Iginla scored once and set up a goal by Dion Phaneuf for the Flames, who only managed to fire 10 shots on net at San Jose goalie Evgeni Nabokov.
The Flames scored one goal on two shots in the first period and then converted one of five shots in the second to take a one-goal lead into the final frame before Cheechoo slapped a perfect shot over the left shoulder of Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to tie the game.
After stopping just three of the five shots he faced before being pulled during Sunday’s come-from-behind 4-3 win for the Flames on Sunday, Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff rebounded with a solid effort as he stopped 29 of the 32 shots he faced.
Early in the first, Iginla knocked the puck out of mid-air to keep the pressure on in the San Jose zone and then worked his way into the slot to pick up a loose puck. While falling to his knees, the Calgary captain ripped a perfect shot to the top corner past Nabokov to put the Flames up 1-0.
With Craig Conroy in the penalty box for hooking, the Sharks drew even when Clowe tipped a Marleau point shot past Kiprusoff.
Late in the middle frame, Iginla won a faceoff cleanly right back to Phaneuf, who let go a point shot that found its way through traffic and past Nabokov.
Calgary had a great chance to go up by two early in the third, but Daymond Langkow rang a close-in shot off the crossbar.
The Sharks refused to quit though and rallied for the two late goals to tie the series.
“It was just a matter of time before we got the two goals,” Thornton said.