Sharks rally for shootout win vs. Flames
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The San Jose Sharks are thriving within their division.
Joe Pavelski and Joonas Donskoi scored the only goals in a shootout, lifting the San Jose Sharks to a 3-2 comeback victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night at SAP Center.
The Sharks won their third consecutive game and are 4-1-1 in the past six games, all against teams they are battling in the Pacific Division.
Pavelski and Timo Meier scored for San Jose (20-11-4) in regulation, and Martin Jones made 32 saves. Jones stopped both shots he faced in the shootout.
“Critical points, especially with (Logan) Couture out of the lineup,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “We talked about that -- the ability to put teams in holes behind you as opposed to let them close the gap on you. We all know how important the last 40 games are. We know some of these teams are going to go on runs. You want to build as much of a cushion as you can.”
Garnet Hathaway and Mikael Backlund scored for the Flames (18-15-4). Backup goaltender David Rittich made 30 saves.
San Jose trailed 2-1 entering the third period but pulled even when Meier scored at 12:00. Brent Burns sent a shot from the right point, and Meier tipped it between Rittich’s pads from the slot.
”I was just trying to get in front of the net, and then the shot was coming toward me,“ Meier said. ”I was trying to get a piece of it, and luckily it went in.
“I’ve been working a lot with (Pavelski) and (Burns) before practice, getting some tips. Pavs is probably the best at it, so I’ve been learning from him and it worked out tonight. I‘m looking forward to keep working on that.”
The Flames had been 10-0-0 when leading after two periods until Thursday.
”After they tied it at 2, they grabbed some momentum,“ Flames captain Mark Giordano said. ”Again, shootouts are tough. During OT, we had one go off the cage. It’s disappointing, especially since they are ahead of us in the standings. For them to get that extra point hurts.
“It feels like these shootouts we’ve been on the wrong end of it. I think they got the momentum on that first shootout goal, and it gives you a big advantage.”
The Flames took a 1-0 lead on Hathaway’s goal at 4:22 of the first period. Hathaway tracked down a loose puck in the slot and beat Jones with a wrist shot.
San Jose pulled even on Pavelski’s power-play goal at 7:16 of the opening period. Pavelski took a pass in the slot from Joe Thornton and lifted a wrist shot inside the left post and past Rittich. He extended San Jose’s streak of games with a power-play goal to nine.
”You’ve got to put some streaks together,“ Pavelski said. ”To win three in a row, you can’t be satisfied. You’ve got to go for four or five. When you do lose, you’ve got to get back in the win column.
“I don’t know if this is the time or not; hopefully you can start creating a little separation. But, again, you can’t look too far ahead. We’re almost halfway through. There’s a lot of hockey left.”
The Flames regained the lead at 2-1 on Backlund’s power-play goal at 15:45 of the first period. Matthew Tkachuk sent the puck to the slot, and Backlund deflected it past Jones.
“We just need to manufacture some extra points in the game so we can hold leads,” Flames coach Glen Gulutzan said. “I thought we had some real good looks in overtime. I thought we were prepared to play here tonight. I thought we came out with more jump than they did. We out-chanced them in the first. We had the better looks. If we could have gotten a goal on one those other power plays, we would have won this game.”
Flames forward Michael Frolik went to the locker room with 11:27 left in the second period after being hit in the face with the puck on a shot from Burns. Frolik did not return. Gulutzan said he would have an update on Frolik’s condition Friday.
NOTES: Calgary RW Jaromir Jagr played his 1,731st game, tying Ron Francis for third most in NHL history. Gordie Howe owns the record with 1,767 games played, and Mark Messier is second with 1,756. ... Sharks C Logan Couture missed his fourth game in a row due to a concussion. Couture skated for a second consecutive day and continued making progress but remained day-to-day. ... San Jose D Brenden Dillon played his 400th NHL game. ... Sharks C Barclay Goodrow (lower body) skated but was not healthy enough to play. He remained on injured reserve. ... Flames D Travis Hamonic returned to the lineup after missing one game with a groin injury. He replaced D Matt Bartkowski. ... Flames G Mike Smith will start against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday night at Honda Center. ... San Jose faces the Stars in Dallas on Sunday.