Highlights: Stuart's first goal in 65 games propels Sharks past Flames
For the fifth time in the last six games, the Sharks played past regulation, and finally won this time. (USA TODAY IMAGES)
CALGARY – There was no disputing this overtime goal.
Joe Thornton’s slap shot from the top of the circle was knocked in by Brad Stuart at 1:13 of the extra session, giving the Sharks a 3-2 win in Calgary on Tuesday night at the Saddledome. The Sharks five-game losing streak came to an end.
For the fifth time in the last six games, the Sharks played past regulation. Twice they had overtime goals waved off and eventually went on to lose in a shootout during an 0-1-4 run.
The Sharks were dominant through two periods, and led 2-0 on goals from Logan Couture and Patrick Marleau. San Jose was outshooting the Flames 28-6 after 40 minutes, and had 56 attempts at the net as compared with just 14 for Calgary.
But, the Flames awoke in the third after hanging on for dear life through the first two-thirds of the game. A phantom penalty to Justin Braun gave Calgary its first power play of the evening, and it took just five seconds for Kris Russell to gather in a faceoff win at the point, walk to the high slot and blast it through Alex Stalock at 6:51.
The Sharks killed off a tripping minor to Tyler Kennedy shortly after Russell’s goal, but Mike Cammalleri tied it at 10:25. Thornton blocked a point shot by Chris Butler, but it went right to Cammalleri’s backhand for the winger’s team-leading eighth goal.
The Sharks quickly jumped out to a 1-0 lead courtesy of Couture. The play began when Kennedy spotted Marleau in the circle. Marleau flubbed a one-timer, but Couture gathered it in and his wrist shot beat Reto Berra 92 seconds into the game.
A power play goal late in the first gave the Sharks a two-goal cushion. Couture set a screen in front of Berra, allowing Marleau to deposit his first goal since Oct. 24, ending a seven-game goalless drought.
Stalock was making his second NHL start, and has now been in the net in each of the Sharks’ last two wins. On Oct. 27, the Minnesota native made 38 saves in a 5-2 win over Ottawa.
San Jose has three games remaining against Calgary. The Sharks improved to 10-2-1 against the Flames in the last 12, including two wins this season.
Stuart ended a 65-game goalless streak in the regular season.
Each team finished 1-for-2 on the power play. Five of Marleau’s nine goals have come with a man advantage.
Stalock was playing for the first time since relieving Antti Niemi last Thursday in a 4-2 loss to Vancouver. He made 11 saves.
After being in for every game of the five-game winless streak, a struggling Niemi had the night off. Niemi posted a 3.91 goals-against average and .878 save percentage during that span.
Berra, a 26-year-old in his first NHL season, was making his fourth career start. He fell to 1-2-1 and stopped 32 of 35 Sharks attempts.
A healthy scratch on Sunday against Winnipeg, Stuart returned paired with a new partner in Braun, while Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Dan Boyle played together.
John McCarthy returned in place of Mike Brown.
The Flames welcomed winger Lee Stempniak back into their lineup after a seven-game absence with a foot injury.
The Sharks will practice in Vancouver on Wednesday and play the Canucks on Thursday in what is the final game of the season series between those two teams. The road trip continues in Edmonton on Friday and Chicago on Sunday.
San Jose hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Nov. 21.