The Calgary Flames will return to the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time since they won the Cup in 1989, having defeated the San Jose Sharks, four games to two, in the Western Conference Finals.
The Flames held a 3-2 series lead heading into Wednesday’s Game Six in Calgary. The road team had won each of the first five games of the series but the Flames were able to finish off the Sharks at home with a 3-1 victory.
San Jose scored only one goal in Games Five and Six combined. It was the only goal allowed by Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff in Games Five and Six of the last two rounds, after he held the Detroit Red Wings scoreless in those games during the second round.
Captain Jarome Iginla and Martin Gelinas scored for the Flames, who also got a late goal from San Jose’s Alexander Korolyuk when his pass from behind the Calgary net missed its mark and slid all the way down the ice into the empty Sharks’ net. The goal was credited to Robyn Regher, the last Flame to touch the puck.
Sixth-seeded Calgary has now pulled off an upset in every round of the playoffs, defeating #3 Vancouver in the first round, #1 Detroit in the second, and #2 San Jose in the Western Conference Finals. In doing so, the Flames eliminated each of the Western Conference’s regular season division champions.
The Flames meet either the Tampa Bay Lightning or the Philadelphia Flyers in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Lightning and Flyers are currently in the middle of their Eastern Conference Finals matchup. Tampa Bay leads the series, 3-2, with Game Five scheduled for Thursday night.