Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Mary Walsh
SAN JOSE — The San Jose Sharks started a six-game homestand with a 3-1 win versus the Calgary Flames. Sharks goals came from Evander Kane, Joonas Donskoi and Joe Pavelski, who were on the same line. For San Jose, Martin Jones made 29 saves for the win. For Calgary, Mike Smith made 26 saves and their lone goal came from Sean Monahan. It was Logan Couture’s 600th NHL game.
50 seconds into the game, Joe Pavelski picked up a wandering puck as it made its way out of some confusion along the Calgary blue line. He turned with it and found Kane moving into the zone. Kane took his time and then the shot zipped over Smith’s outstretched glove. Assists went to Pavelski and Donskoi. That was Pavelski’s first assist of the season.
The Sharks outshot the Flames in the first period 12-8. The Sharks had one power play in the first, and it carried over into the second period without generating a goal.
At 1:28 of the second period, the same line of Kane, Donskoi and Pavelski scored again. Kane held the puck behind the Calgary net long enough for Donskoi to get to the front of the net, then made the pass to Donskoi under Mikael Backlund’s stick. It was Donskoi’s fourth goal of the season. Assists went to Kane and Pavelski.
Calgary struck back at 6:02 of the middle frame with a goal from Monahan. Erik Karlsson lost his footing just above the Sharks blue line, giving the puck up to Mark Jankowski, who was headed into the Sharks’ zone with Monahan right behind him. Monahan overtook him and Jankowski passed the puck up to him for an unobstructed shot. The lone assist went to Jankowski.
After that goal, Timo Meier left the ice with what appeared to be a cut on his leg. Kevin Labanc stepped into his spot with Couture and Hertl. Meier was not gone long and only missed the one shift.
The Sharks put a lot of pressure on the Flames late in the period. Marcus Sorensen had a nice breakaway with just under six minutes left in the second, but Mike Smith stopped his shot. The Sharks followed up with a two on one moments later, but couldn’t convert. With 2:45 left in the period, Evander Kane carried the puck in with Donskoi on a two on one. Kane passed and Donskoi shot, but Smith got across for a great save.
At the end of the second, the Sharks again led in shots, this time 11-8 for the period.
Just over three minutes into the third period, the teams played four-on-four after Sean Monahan was called for tripping Meier and Meier was called for embellishment. Neither team scored but the Sharks did put some pressure on the Flames, who were outshooting them 4-0 in the opening minutes of the period.
The Sharks got credit for their first shot of the period at 6:38. The shot came during a delayed penalty on Calgary, which sent Mark Giordano to the box for hooking. The Flames killed that penalty off just as they had the two previous Sharks power plays.
At 8:22 of the third, Martin Jones had to preserve the Sharks’ lead against a penalty shot awarded to Sam Bennet. Bennet was awarded the shot after Brenden Dillon was called for holding during Bennet’s breakaway chance.
As the clock ticked past the 15-minute mark of the third, the Flames were outshooting the Sharks 12-4. Logan Couture went to the locker room in the second half of the period with an injury.
With under a minute left, Pavelski scored into an empty net, securing the win despite the lack of effective Sharks’ offense in the third period. Hertl got an assist on the goal.
The Sharks next play on Tuesday against the visiting Nashville Predators at 7:30 PM PT.