By Michael Duca
PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
SAN JOSE, California (Ticker) — The San Jose Sharks used the
power play to end their first losing streak of the season on
Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski scored two goals apiece, leading
the Sharks to a 6-1 rout of the Calgary Flames.
Captain Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton also netted power-play
goals for San Jose, which finished 4-for-9 with the man
The Sharks entered 25th in the NHL at home on the power play,
going just 7-for-54 at HP Pavilion. Calgary’s penalty-killing
unit had surrendered five goals on the road, but San Jose nearly
doubled that total.
Defensemen Rob Blake, Christian Ehrhoff and Dan Boyle recorded
three assists apiece, combining to set a franchise record of
nine points – and nine assists – from blue-liners.
“One of those games,” Blake said. “Obviously, the power play
was more effective than it has been in other games this season.
If you get traffic and get some shots, you can get fortunate on
Michalek tallied once in the first period and added his fifth
goal of the season in the second for the Sharks, who rebounded
after suffering back-to-back losses to the Phoenix Coyotes and
“It was important to score the two goals early,” Michalek said.
“The game changes for you then. Things get easier.”
Pavelski opened the scoring 8:04 into the first period with
Flames defenseman Adam Pardy serving the game’s first penalty
for hooking. Blake fired a slap shot from the point that drew
Miikka Kiprusoff to the left side of the net. Pavelski grabbed
the rebound and slid it past the goaltender for his sixth goal
of the season.
“I had a couple of really good looks,” Pavelski said. “I was
all by myself. You are happy to get those chances.”
The Sharks doubled the lead 27 seconds later, when Michalek
skated down the left wing and wristed a shot between Kiprusoff’s
pads from the bottom of the left faceoff circle.
The onslaught continued as San Jose scored another power-play
goal with 4:58 to go in the first. After Blake fired a shot
from the point, Marleau grabbed the rebound and beat Kiprusoff
from the doorstep for his eighth goal of the campaign.
Last season, the two-time 30-goal scorer tallied just 19 times
in 78 games.
“They are a very good team playing well,” Calgary captain Jarome
Iginla said. “They had a ton of power plays early. They
capitalized on them early with three power-play goals in the
first period. We didn’t compete against them in the first
period. We weren’t skating or working.”
Thornton pushed the lead to 4-0 with 2:18 left in the opening
session, scoring from the right side after controlling Devin
Setoguchi’s redirection of a shot by Boyle.
“I felt pretty decent, playing on adrenaline,” said Boyle, who
missed Tuesday’s game against Nashville due to the birth of his
Kiprusoff was replaced by Curtis McElhinney to start the second
period after making 16 saves.
“You know you have to be prepared for a hard start against this
team,” Flames coach Mike Keenan said. “It’s not only a
trademark this year, it was the same last year. We didn’t take
care of the puck early in the game, and they came at us harder
because of the transition game we gave them.”
McElhinney, who stopped 24 shots, blocked the first one he
faced, from Ehrhoff. But Michalek buried the rebound from the
doorstep 78 seconds into the middle session for a 5-0 bulge.
Despite the lopsided score, the game remained fairly
“I think what keeps it calm is the power play being effective,”
Blake said. “These teams have met so many times. Sometimes
games go like that, and they understood that. I’m sure they
will be ready next game in Calgary.”
The Sharks had a 5-on-3 advantage early in the third period, and
Pavelski cashed in by netting his second goal of the night off a
rebound in the slot 3:35 into the session.
Brian Boucher stopped 23 shots but lost his shutout bid midway
through the final period. He stopped a pair of point-blank
shots on the power play, but Mike Cammalleri got the second
rebound in front and slid a wrist shot between Boucher’s pads at