"In the first period, there could have been two pucks on the ice and we wouldn't have had either one of them," McLellan said after the 4-0 setback Sunday night.
"We were that slow. We were pushed off pucks. We didn't compete along the boards. We weren't playing the way we were supposed to play as far as the system went. Very disappointing."
Miikka Kiprusoff made 27 saves for his second shutout of the season and 36th overall and Rene Bourque scored twice. Bourque has six goals this season, five in his past two games. He had three goals and an assist Friday night in Calgary's 6-2 victory in Columbus.
"Any time you're scoring you want to have the puck on your stick," Bourque said. "I feel like I can make plays happen right now."
Playing right wing on a line with Niklas Hagman and Olli Jokinen, Bourque has made a big impact since his return from a head injury, scoring six times in four games. He has three winning goals, tying him for top spot in the NHL with Chicago's Patrick Sharp.
"He's a big strong guy and when he plays that way and he's very involved in the game emotionally, he wants to be the difference out there," Flames coach Brent Sutter said. "He finds those areas he can shoot the puck in and he goes to the net and when he's in that mindset, in that groove to do it he's a very effective player."
The Sharks, coming off a 6-1 victory in Edmonton on Saturday night, dropped to 3-3-1 with their first road loss of the season.
"I want to see us start to win some battles," McLellan said. "I want to see us not wait for power plays. I want to see us compete 5-on-5. I went to see us get the puck up quick. I want to see us get to through the neutral zone quicker. I want to see an honest forecheck."
Kiprusoff was busiest in the second period when the Sharks outshot Calgary 12-10.
During one stretch on a power play, San Jose put three shots on goal, but Kiprusoff calmly turned them all aside -- including a sharp pad stop off Ryane Clowe.
"They did start shooting a little more at the end of the second period, but we played smart and it's pretty nice when you have a lead like that," Kiprusoff said.
- Calgary opened a five-game homestand. For the second successive game, Calgary defenseman Steve Staios was a healthy scratch. Brendan Mikkelson again took Staios' place in the lineup.
- Five of the previous six games between the clubs were decided by one goal.