Pavelski continued his torrid goal-scoring stretch with two more
Monday as the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-2 at SAP
"I feel good," Pavelski said. "Obviously there's nights you don't
feel your best and you try to find a way. It feels the way you
should play the game all the time."
Moved to the top line after an injury to rookie sensation Tomas
Hertl 15 games ago, Pavelski has scored 18 goals in his past 20
games move into a second-place tie with the Anaheim Ducks' Corey
Perry, each at 27. The Washington Capitals' Alexander Ovechkin leads
the NHL with 35 goals.
"I wish we all knew (Pavelski's secret) because we'd all follow that
recipe for success," San Jose center Tommy Wingels said. "It's fun
to watch. They go in a whole different variety of ways. When you're
hot, you're hot. He'll certainly take it, and we'll take it as
Meanwhile, it was a narrow loss for a Calgary team that fell to
1-6-1 in its past eight, 2-10-1 in 13, and 0-2-1 against the
"We're disappointed in the loss, but you can't fault the effort,"
Calgary center Matt Stajan said. "We had our chances. If we continue
to work like that, we'll give ourselves a chance, no doubt about it.
It just wasn't good enough to win tonight."
After their wild, brawl-marred game in Vancouver on Saturday, the
Flames didn't take their first minor penalty until the midway point
Monday, but it was costly.
San Jose right winger Eriah Hayes drew an interference call on
Stajan. The Sharks converted 26 seconds into the man advantage when
Pavelski tipped center Joe Thornton's pass through Calgary goalie
Karri Ramo at 14:54.
Pavelski led a charge across the Calgary blue line, and the Flames'
penalty-killers appeared to freeze for a moment, allowing Thornton
to corral the loose puck.
"I think it was just so high in the air no one knew where it was,
and it landed right in front of me," the Sharks captain said. "Lucky
to get my stick on it."
Thornton fired a pass from the slot to Pavelski alone at the side of
the net, and the San Jose sniper batted in the puck, which was about
a foot off the ice.
"The ice was just so bouncy tonight, I tried to get it in the
general direction, and he just made a great, hand-eye coordination
play to score," Thornton said.
It was the only goal of the final 40 minutes after the teams played
a wide-open opening 20 minutes and scored twice each. The Flames did
not earn a power play for the fourth time this season as the Sharks
displayed strong discipline throughout, especially in the third
period, when the Flames made a strong push.
"It's a big reason we've had success and (are) winning games,"
Wingels said of San Jose's league-low number of short-handed
situations. "When you stay disciplined, you often limit the other
team's scoring chances."
[to top of second column]
The game was tied 2-2 after a wide-open, mistake-filled and
penalty-free first period that saw each team's goalie struggle.
Calgary broke on top when left winger Jiri Hudler beat Sharks
defenseman Brad Stuart for puck possession in the corner, walked
out front and used a move to the backhand to fool Sharks goalie
Antti Niemi at 4:08 on the Flames' first shot.
The Sharks answered with two goals in 21 seconds just past the
midway point of the period.
San Jose defenseman Justin Braun's shot from the left point
caromed first off of Calgary defenseman Mark Giordano then off
Pavelski on its way past Ramo at 12:22.
On the next shift, Wingels circled the Calgary zone, then dished
to center Patrick Marleau before getting it back for a shot from
the far edge of the right circle that trickled through Ramo at
12:43 for his 10th goal.
Calgary tough guy left winger Kevin Westgarth scored his first
of the year at 13:34. He beat Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin to a
juicy rebound left by Niemi on a point shot by right winger
Brian McGrattan that seemed to fool the San Jose netminder.
Ramo finished with 24 saves.
"We felt like we had some great chances," Flames coach Bob
Hartley said. "They dominated the first five minutes, but then
we got our legs back under us and played them even. We played
well enough to get a better result, but that's the way it goes
NOTES: The Flames lost LW Paul Byron to a lower-body injury
early in the second period. ... Calgary's C Matt Stajan signed a
four-year contract extension for an annual cap hit of
$3,125,000. ... Flames coach Bob Hartley was fined $25,000 by
the league Monday for his part in Saturday's game at Vancouver
in which fights broke out all over the ice two seconds after the
opening faceoff. Calgary GM Brian Burke said, "I am perplexed by
this fine. I stand behind Bob Hartley completely in this
regard." The NHL's Colin Campbell said, "We are holding Mr.
Hartley responsible for the actions of Flames right wing Kevin
Westgarth, who took the game's opening faceoff and attempted to
instigate a premeditated fight with an unwilling opponent." ...
The Sharks opened a four-game homestand and a stretch of playing
eight of their final 10 pre-Olympic games at home. ... Calgary
capped a two-game trip. The Flames begin a five-game homestand
Wednesday against the Phoenix Coyotes. ... LW Martin Havlat and
RW Mike Brown were San Jose's healthy scratches. D Shane
O'Brien, D Derek Smith, C Ben Street and C Mike Cammalleri and
ex-Shark LW T.J. Galiardi did not dress for Calgary.
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