SAN JOSE – San Jose opened a four-game homestand on a solid note Monday night, pushing past Pacific Division rival Calgary 3-2 at sold-out SAP Center.
Joe Pavelski followed his first-ever hat trick on Saturday with two goals against the Flames, moving him into a tie for second place among NHL goal-scorers. Both Pavelski and Anaheim’s Corey Perry have found the net 27 times to trail only Washington’s Alex Ovechkin (35).
Pavelski has goals in three consecutive games. Patrick Marleau has assists in three consecutive games.
After a hectic first period that produced a 2-2 tie, Pavelski completed the scoring with a power play goal at 14:54 of the second period.
The game’s only penalty came 14:28 into the second when Flame Matt Stajan was called for interfering Eriah Hayes.
The Sharks’ top power play unit went right to work, producing the winning goal within 26 seconds.
Defenseman Jason Demers ignited the scoring play by hustling to the right point to stop a potential Flames clearing attempt. Demers slid the puck to Joe Thornton at the left point and the captain drilled a low pass to Pavelski at the right edge of the crease for the tip-in past goaltender Karri Ramo.
The Flames recorded an 11-6 edge in shots on net in the scoreless third period.
“We weren’t very good, we didn’t skate well,” summarized San Jose coach Todd McLellan.
He called the result “a night where we probably got away with one.”
Calgary, lodged in the 13th spot in the Western Conference, opened the scoring 4:08 into play.
Flame center Jiri Hudler, playing in his 501st NHL game, came away with the puck in the left corner of the San Jose zone. Hudler skated across the slot to flick a short shot past Antii Niemi. Hudler joined rookie Sean Monahan and captain Mike Cammalleri atop the Calgary goal leadership with his 13th of the year.
Three goals within a 72-second span left the teams at 2-2.
Pavelski was in position at the top of the Calgary crease when Justin Braun’s hard shot from the top of the right circle glanced off Pavelski and inside the left post at 12:22 of the second period. Brent Burns earned an assist on the goal.
With 12:43 gone in the period, Tommy Wingels deposited his 10th goal of the season for a 2-1 San Jose edge. Wingels kept the puck in the offensive zone before passing to Marleau in the right corner. Wingels took a return pass from Marleau, then jammed a shot that skimmed off Ramo’s right arm and into the net.
The Flames regrouped to score the equalizer at 13:34. Brian McGrattan shot from the top of the right circle to produce a long rebound into the slot. A charging Kevin Westgarth moved to the puck first and one-timed it past Niemi for his first goal of the year and fourth in 144 NHL games.
The Sharks carry a four-game winning streak into Thursday’s 7:30 p.m. game opposite the Winnipeg Jets.