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Sharks extend win streak to 4
SJ grits out 3-2 win in Calgary
12/6/14 - By Mike Lee -

San Jose kicked off a brief 2-game trip through Alberta with a gritty 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Saturday night. The Sharks overcame a sluggish opening period by scoring a pair of 2nd period goals, then broke a 2-2 tie with a Patrick Marleau goal in the 3rd period to give the Sharks their 4th win in a row.

Stringing those four wins together marked the first time they've accomplished that feat this season. It also allowed them to gain ground on the Flames, Los Angeles, Vancouver and Nashville, who all lost on Saturday.

Things weren't all wine and roses for the Sharks. They got off to a slow start, taking more than a period to get their legs. They also lost Tyler Kennedy to injury, after the forward was checked in open ice early in the period. Kennedy skated two shifts, then seemed to fall awkwardly after getting checked off the puck near at center ice.

The Sharks did a whole lot of nothing for most of the period, but the lack of detail late in the opening period resulted in a puck getting past Antti Niemi. Mark Giordano cranked a long shot from the left point after Calgary gained the Sharks zone than dropped it back to the open shooter. Curtis Glencross created a screen in front of Niemi as Marc-Edouard Vlasic failed to clear out the obstacle for his goaltender.

Whatever the Sharks discussed during the 1st intermission worked, as Justin Braun took matters into his own hands and lifted a backhand chance from in tight past Karri 33 seconds into the 2nd period. Braun found himself near the bottom of the right circle, having chased a puck down low. The goal was Braun's 1st of the season.

Logan Couture made it a 2-1 Sharks lead 121 seconds later. The Sharks forward picked off a weak clearing attempt by Raphael Diaz near the left dot. Couture grabbed the puck and headed toward the net, lifting a pretty backhand shot past Ramo, bouncing the puck off the right post for his 11th goal of the season.

San Jose failed to convert on a Giordano hooking penalty late in the period, then seemed to go into some lethargic state on defense. That flaccid posturing allowed Johnny Gaudreau to score his 5th of the season from the Sharks doorstep. Jiri Hudler cycled around the outside of the right circle before firing a puck to the front of the net. Gaudreau was there untouched to put a shot on Niemi, then poke home the rebound. Barclay Goodrow was caught out of position, with his back to his own net. The sharks forward never saw Gaudreau and couldn't react fast enough to stop the Calgary forward from exploiting the Sharks goaltender.

Gaudreau almost made it a pair of goals early in the 3rd period during a Brenden Dillon interference penalty. The Flames forward once again found himself on the Sharks doorstep with the puck, but Niemi made an outstanding toe save by extending his skate out to his left.

Ramo countered Niemi's save by standing up Joe Pavelski, who raced in on net with the puck on a 2-on-1 break with 14 minutes to play in regulation. Tommy Wingels blasted a shot from 8 feet out a minute later, but Ramo denied the scoring chance.

San Jose regained the lead midway through the period when Patrick Marleau swatted a puck home from the front of the Calgary net. San Jose was man-handling the Flames on the forecheck, cycling the puck for an eternity along the end boards. Logan Couture and Tommy Wingels exchanged passes before Wingels was slammed into the left end boards and Couture lifted the puck in the air from behind the net. Marleau trapped the puck out of the air with his chest then punched it home as it hit the ice.

Calgary made things much easier on the Sharks late in the game when TJ Brodie hauled down Tomas Hertl after a turnover in the Flames zone. Matt Stajan followed that penalty with a hook on Pavelski 31 seconds later. The Sharks tried working the puck down low, but couldn't get a shot past Ramo.

Things got tight with 1:19 left in regulation when Braun was sent off for a hold on Hudler behind the Sharks net. Calgary pulled Ramo after calling timeout to setup a 6-on-4 power play.

Pavelski and Joe Thornton didn't do their team any favors by losing three straight faceoffs from inside his own blueline to Sean Monahan as the Flames tried to score the equalizer. Calgary got off three shots during that final power play, including a Monahan shot from in tight with 42 seconds to play.

Niemi stood on his head by smothering those shots and denying Calgary and juicy rebounds.

Game Notes:

* Couture was a +3 on the evening, with a goal and an assist on two shots. He was also 9 for 16 from the faceoff circles.

* The win was the first for San Jose in Calgary since January of 2013.

* John Scott assisted on Couture's goal, giving him his 1st point December of 2011, a span of 120 games.

* Justin Braun had a goal and an assist, his 6th career 2-point game. It was his first goal since March.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT SO T
SJ 0 2 1
CGY 1 1 0
1st period - 1, CGY, Giordano 7 (Jones, Glencross), 17:32.
2nd period - 2, SJ, Braun 1 (Wingels), 0:33. 3, SJ, Couture 11 (Scott, Braun), 2:34. 4, CGY, Gaudreau 5 (Hudler, Stajan), 17:49.
3rd period - 5, SJ, Marleau 7 (Couture, Wingels), 9:18.
Overtime - .
Shootout - CGY: (), (), (). SJ: (), (), ().
Penalties
1st period - None.
2nd period - Burns, SJ (interference), 9:11; Giordano, CGY (hooking), 15:19.
3rd period - Dillon, SJ (interference), 3:26; Brodie, CGY (holding), 14:55; Stajan, CGY (tripping), 15:26; Braun, SJ (tripping) 18:41.
Overtime - .
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Niemi 12 11
CGY - Ramo 8 8
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 8 8
CGY 12 9
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 3
CGY 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Attendence
,
Officials
Referees: Leggo, Pollock. Linesmen: Lazarowich, Murchison.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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