Instant Replay: Sharks preserve perfect home record

Sharks survive dicey third period against Flames

Instant Replay: Sharks preserve perfect home record
October 19, 2013, 9:00 pm
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The Sharks scored a goal in the opening minute of the game for the fourth time in eight games. (AP IMAGES)

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE – Joe Pavelski had four points and Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture added a goal and an assist each as the Sharks beat the Calgary Flames on Saturday night at SAP Center, 6-3. San Jose is a league-best 7-0-1 and perfect 5-0 at home.
 
The Sharks’ power play gave them a commanding 4-1 lead in the second period, as Pavelski and Marleau teamed up on both scores. First, Marleau fed Pavelski for a tip-in at 8:57 to give San Jose a 3-1 advantage, and then Pavelski repaid the favor at 17:59, when he found Marleau in almost the same place for a slam dunk.
 
Things got dicey for the Sharks early in the third, though. Mikael Backlund deposited a big rebound off of the pads of Antti Niemi for a shorthanded goal at 1:33, and Jiri Hudler cut the Flames’ deficit to 4-3 at 3:56.
 
Again, the power play gave the Sharks some breathing room, when Pavelski tipped in a Couture shot past Karri Ramo at 9:38.
 
Couture’s empty-net goal from center ice with 1:22 left capped the scoring.
 
The Flames fell to 3-2-2 after getting at least one point in the standings in each of their first five games. It was the first of five meetings between the Pacific Division rivals.
 
The Sharks scored a goal in the opening minute for the fourth time in eight games. Brent Burns banged home a pass from Pavelski in the corner, after Pavelski won a board battle in the corner with Kris Russell. Scott Hannan’s shot deflected in at 19:07 to give the home team a 2-0 lead at the intermission.
 
The Flames cut it to 2-1 when rookie Sean Monahan snuck into the slot and scored a power play goal on a feed from Sven Baertschi behind the net at 3:01 of the second.
 
Pavelski moved into second in the league in scoring with 12 points (3g, 9a). He has 20 career two-goal games, but is still looking for his first NHL hat trick.
 
Marleau extended his goal-scoring streak to five games. He’s registered at least one point in each of the Sharks’ eight games and has 11 points on the season. He’s tied with three others, including teammate Tomas Hertl, for the league lead in goals with seven.
 
Special teams
 
In a game filled with minor penalties, the Sharks finished 3-for-9 on the power play while the Flames were 1-for-6.
 
Matt Irwin took the place of Jason Demers on the top power play unit, for the first two periods and recorded an assist on Pavelski’s goal. Demers was back out there for Pavelski’s second goal, though, and tallied the secondary assist.
 
In goal
 
Niemi recorded his 100th career win with the Sharks with 16 saves, and his 11 wins against Calgary are the most he has against any single opponent.
 
Since the start of the 2010-11 season, only Marc-Andre Fleury (108) and Henrik Lundqvist (101) have more wins than Niemi. Niemi and Fleury each have seven wins to lead the league this season.
 
Karri Ramo had 30 saves on 35 shots. He was opposing the Sharks for the first time since 2009, when he was with the Lightning, his only prior career appearance against San Jose. He allowed seven goals in a 7-1 loss.
 
Lineup
 
Dan Boyle missed his second straight game after he was stretchered out of a game in St. Louis last Tuesday. His status is uncertain for the upcoming road trip.
 
The Sharks reassigned forward Bracken Kearns on Saturday morning.
 
Up next
 
After their only visit to Joe Louis Arena on Monday, the Sharks continue to Boston on Thursday and Montreal and Ottawa next Saturday and Sunday. The trip concludes with the first Sharks-Kings game on Oct. 30.
 
San Jose hosts Phoenix on Nov. 2.