Sharks try to avoid slump in meeting with Flames

( - The San Jose Sharks failed to match last season's record-setting start, but have still yet to lose in regulation. They'll look to get back into the win column on Saturday night when they host the Calgary Flames.

The Sharks won their first six games of the season before suffering a 4-3 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars on Thursday. That left them one win shy of last season's franchise-best 7-0 start to the campaign.

After failing to match that run, San Jose will try to avoid a repeat of the slump it fell into last season after suffering its first loss. The Sharks went 0-4-3 in the seven games following their 7-0 beginning.

Tyler Kennedy scored nine seconds into the setback versus the Stars for the second-fastest goal to begin a game in Sharks history. Stephane Matteau scored eight ticks into a loss to St. Louis on Jan. 1, 2000.

Patrick Marleau and Matthew Nieto added goals and Antti Niemi made 28 saves, but yielded the lone shootout tally.

"We are disappointed we didn't get the two points but we probably didn't play well enough," Sharks head coach Todd McLellan admitted.

While the Flames have split their first six games of the season, they didn't suffer a regulation loss until Wednesday's 3-2 setback to Anaheim.

Lee Stempniak and Jiri Hudler scored, while Joey MacDonald gave up three goals on 22 shots as Calgary was denied a third straight win in the opener of a five-game road trip.

"A couple of individual mistakes but at the same time, you can't fault the effort," Calgary head coach Bob Hartley said. "We battled back but you know, we dug ourselves a big hole and we couldn't come out of it."

Hudler has notched a point in each of Calgary's first six games, totaling three goals and five assists, while Marleau has six goals and nine points over a season-opening, seven-game point streak for the Sharks.

San Jose has won seven of its past 10 against Calgary, including five of the previous six meetings at home.

Niemi is 10-2-1 with a 2.13 goals against average in 13 games (12 starts) against the Flames, who are expected to start Karri Ramo in tonight's meeting.

Ramo will make his second start of the season and lost his only other outing against the Sharks, giving up seven goals on 42 shots faced. That encounter came back on Jan. 13, 2009 when Ramo was with Tampa Bay.