CALGARY, Alberta This one was a big step backward.
Scoring continued to be an unsolved mystery for the Sharks on Wednesday night as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Calgary Flames.
It was San Jose's first regulation loss in five games but the 12th game in a row where the team failed to get more than a pair of goals, shootouts excluded.
Third-period tallies by Flames forwards Blake Comeau and Jarome Iginla proved to be the difference. The teams had traded goals in the first two periods, Calgary's coming off the stick of Roman Cervenka and the Sharks' lone goal of the night belonging to Joe Thornton. An empty-net goal by Curtis Glencross in the final minute finished the scoring.
The game featured two goalies seeing action for the first time in weeks. Flames netminder Miikka Kiprusoff was getting his first start after missing 13 games since he sprained a knee ligament Feb. 5. The Sharks countered with backup Thomas Greiss, who hadn't played since a 6-2 loss in Columbus on Feb. 11.
Starter Antti Niemi had worked nine consecutive games since then.
Whatever inspiration the Sharks might have gotten from their 3-2 shootout win in Vancouver the previous night didn't show up on the ice Wednesday night.
Blackhawks 3, Avalanche 2 in Chicago Daniel Carcillo scored the tiebreaking goal with 49.3 seconds left in regulation as Chicago won its 11th consecutive game to extend the best start in NHL history.
Chicago (21-0-3) reached the halfway point of a lockout-shortened season without losing in regulation. The Blackhawks have earned at least one point in their first 24 games, stretching their NHL record.
Dating back to last year's regular season, the streak is now 30 games.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.