Nikita Zadorov collected his first career hat trick and goaltender Dustin Wolf won in his NHL debut as the host Calgary Flames concluded their season by scoring three unanswered goals in a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday
Wolf, the 2019 seventh-round draft choice and second-year pro who leads the AHL in nearly every goaltending category, made 23 saves.
Wolf, who hails from Northern California and grew up cheering for the Sharks, was not as busy as his San Jose counterpart, but came up with a few strong saves in the third period -- most notably against Sharks captain Logan Couture on a prime opportunity -- to preserve the win
Noah Gregor scored for the Sharks, who have lost five straight games. Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen made a career-high 46 saves, 21 of them in the third period. Although he took the loss, Kahkonen certainly gave his team an opportunity to win
Both the Flames (38-27-17, 93 points) and Sharks (22-43-16, 60 points) failed to make the Stanley Cup playoffs
With his team trailing 1-0 but dominating play, Zadorov finally solved Kahkonen at 13:36 of the second period. After Mikael Backlund pulled a puck from a battle along the boards, Andrew Mangiapane sent a pass to Zadorov as he came down from the point and the big defenseman snapped a quick shot home.
Zadorov notched the eventual game-winning goal with his second of the night at 4:01 of the third period. With a screen set, he sent a long wrist shot that found the mark.
Zadorov, who hadn't scored more than once in a game before, added an empty-netter with a long shot, his 14th goal of the season and 41st of his career. Prior to this season, Zadorov's career high for goals in a season was seven.
He is only the sixth defenseman in franchise history to record a hat trick.
Matt Coronato, Calgary's 2021 first-round draft choice, also had a strong NHL debut, firing four shots on net, including a couple of dandy chances that Kahkonen denied.
The Sharks, who will finish their season Thursday against the Edmonton Oilers, opened the scoring just past the midway point of the first period when Gregor pounced on the rebound after his first attempt on a partial breakaway was stopped, and notched his ninth goal of the season
--Field Level Media