This one was a big step backward.

The Sharks had managed to craft a four-game unbeaten streak despite their ongoing offensive struggles. But that skidded to a halt Wednesday night with a 4-1 loss to the Calgary Flames that only accentuated the fact it has been 12 games since San Jose has managed to find the back of the net more than twice in regulation or overtime.

And that was what had defenseman Dan Boyle fuming and dropping the occasional expletive after the game as he talked about his team's inability to score.

"We've scored one or two goals the last 12 games. That's it. There's a lot of things that go into that, but that's it," Boyle said. And the particular game he just finished: "It just sucked from the beginning. It just sucked, I think."

Initially, Boyle didn't want to analyze the specific things contributing to the scoring drought, but then he took a stab at it.

"There's too many things across the board," Boyle said. "Pretty much everything you can think of goes into goal scoring -- whether it's X's and O's or effort. A lot of things go into that."

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 tying it when Joe Thornton turned a Calgary turnover into his team's only goal. An empty-netter in the game's final minute by Flames forward Curtis Glencross completed the scoring.