GAME IN A MINUTE
SAN JOSE, CA -- The San Jose Sharks took a bite out of the Calgary Flames.
Joe Pavelski had two goals while Antti Niemi closed the door in the third to lift San Jose to a 3-2 win over the Flames at SAP Center on Monday night.
Pavelski’s multi-goal effort came just one game after recording his first career NHL hat trick in a 5-4 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.
Though it was Pavelski’s Sharks who won their fourth straight, it was the Flames who got on the board first.
After Karri Ramo weathered an early Sharks flurry, Jiri Hudler put the Flames on the board with Calgary’s first shot of the game. After working his way out of the corner, Hudler drove to the net and wrapped the puck around Niemi for his 13th of the year to stake the Flames to a 1-0 lead.
Two quick strikes just 21 seconds apart from Pavelski and Tommy Wingels near the midway mark of the frame to leapfrog the Flames and go up 2-1.
But Kevin Westgarth replied at 13:34 with his first as a member of the Flames.
Niemi stopped Brian McGrattan’s initial shot but kicked a rebound into the slot right onto the stick of Westgarth, who put the puck over the glove of the Sharks goaltender to tie the game.
With his second of the game Pavelski restored San Jose’s lead, redirecting a Joe Thornton pass out of mid air and behind Karri Ramo for a power play marker at 14:54 of the second period.
Calgary’s push came early and often in the third, firing five shots Niemi’s way in the first six minutes of action, including Sean Monahan’s backhander from the doorstep that the Sharks keeper turned aside at 4:53.
The Flames couldn’t solve Niemi in the remaining 15 minutes either, dropping to 16-27-7 on the season.
GOAL OF THE GAME
Just 4:08 from the drop of the puck -- and on Calgary’s first shot of the game -- Hudler worked his way out of the corner before wrapping the puck around Niemi and inside the far post for his 13th of the season to give the Flames a 1-0 lead early in the first period.
SAVE OF THE GAME
Ramo kicked aside consecutive whacks on the doorstep by Eriah Hayes and John McCarthy after a nifty set up by James Sheppard on a lengthy shift with the Flames caught in their own end six minutes into the second period.
Pavelski’s second of the night gave the Sharks a lead they’d hold to improve to 17-2-3 on home ice.
STAT OF THE GAME
Westgarth’s goal was his first National Hockey League marker since April 27, 2013 -- a span of 23 games -- when he scored twice as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes in an 8-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Flames return home to host the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday (7 p.m MST, SNET-W, Sportsnet 960 The Fan) as the first of five straight at Scotiabank Saddledome.
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