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Sharks win 4th in a row
San Jose returns home after brief east coast swing
1/20/14 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks returned home after a brief 3-game road-trip that took them through DC and Florida, and had the advantage of easing back into home ice with the cellar-dwelling Calgary Flames. San Jose took advantage of their opponent matching the Flames with a pair of 1st period goals, and then potting the game winner in the 2nd period. Anttti Niemi made 21 saves to earn his 26th win of the season.

* San Jose came out blazing early, putting plenty of pressure on Flames goaltender Karri Ramo, but it was the Calgary that would strike first. Flames leading scorer Jiri Hudler took a short pass from TJ Brodie in the left corner then took three strides toward the net before pulling the puck to his right and sliding a shot past Antti Niemi.

* Joe Pavelski continued to wield his hot hand, or in the case of the Sharks 1st goal, a hot shoulder. The Red-hot Sharks forward was the benefactor of a Justin Braun shot that caught Pavelski in the left shoulder and bouncing into the Flames net at 12:22 to tie the game. The Sharks forward recorded his first career hat trick in Tampa Bay on Saturday afternoon. The tally was the 26th of the season for Pavelski, who leads the Sharks in that category.

* Tommy Wingels gave the Sharks a brief 2-1 lead when he converted 21 seconds after Pavelski's tally. The Sharks winger cycled the puck at the blueline and dumped it into the right corner as he continued toward the right wing boards. Patrick Marleau chased it down in the corner and tapped a pass back to Wingels for a slap shot from the outside of the right circle. Ramo got a glove on the shot, but the momentum carried it past him, dribbling across the goal line.

* The Sharks lead went by the wayside after a lapse in communication between defensemen Dan Boyle and Matt Irwin. Brian McGratten sent a long shot on net from the right point, but the puck kicked out a rebound right to the slot. Kevin Westgarth beat both Irwin and Boyle to the puck and punched home his 1st goal of the season.

* Matt Nieto took a deflected puck off the chops midway through the 2nd period. He was bleeding significantly as trainers assisted him to the locker room. The Sharks rookie would return in the 3rd period after some maintenance.

* The Sharks missed by a hair on an odd-man break at the 12 minute mark of the middle period when defenseman Dan Boyle fired a rebound chance on net, but Ramo made a diving save on the play. Matt Stajan was whistled for interference on the play, setting up the game's 1st power play. Pavelski converted with a nice redirect of a Joe Thornton feed at 14:54 for his 2nd of the game. Thornton feathered a shin-high pass that Pavelski had to redirect by lifting his stick blade off the ice in order to hit the puck. Stajan's penalty was the only infraction by either team all night.

* Thornton moved into the 48th spot in all-time scoring, passing Bobby Hull with his assist on Pavelski's 2nd goal. Thornton's 1,171 career points puts him 8 behind Sergei Federov for the 47th spot. Rod Brind'Amour sits in 46th with 1,184 points. Former Sharks ahead of Thornton include Vincent Damphousse (1,205 points), Bernie Nicholls (1,209), Jeremy Roenick (1,216), and Teemu Selanne (1,447).

* San Jose controlled the faceoff circle, winning 63 of their draws. Marleau won 10 of 14 and Thornton won 9 of 11.

* Tyler Kennedy skated exceptionally well all night, moving to the puck with speed and back-checking all night long. The forward recently returned to the lineup after a brief bout with the flu. He led all skaters with 6 shots on goal.

* Rookie Eriah Hayes had 4 shots on goal in a brief 8 minutes of ice time. He was a minus 1, although it was an unfair rating as he was immaterial to the Westgarth goal.

* In a statistical oddity, Pavelski led the Sharks in ice time. Typically a defenseman logs the greatest number of minutes, but Pavelski's 21:19 of ice time on 27 shifts was tops for San Jose.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
CGY 2 0 0 2
SJ 2 1 0 3
1st period - 1, CGY, Hudler 13 (Brodie, Giordano), 4:08. 2, SJ, Pavelski 26 (Braun, Burns), 12:22. 3, SJ, Wingels 10 (Marleau, Stuart), 12:43. 4, CGY, Westgarth 1 (McGrattan, Russell), 13:34.
2nd period - 5, SJ, Pavelski 27 (Thornton, Demers), 14:54, (pp).
3rd period - None.
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Stajan, CGY (interference), 14:28.
3rd period - None.
Overtime - .
Goaltending
Shots Saves
CGY - Ramo 27 24
SJ - Niemi 23 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
CGY 8 4 11 23
SJ 10 11 6 27
Power Play Conversion
CGY 0 of 0
SJ 1 of 1
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Joe Thornton
Jiri Hudler
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Joannette, Morton. Linesmen: Kovachik, Henderson.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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