SAN JOSE, Calif. – Joe Pavelski jumped into the team points lead after scoring twice and assisting on two other goals. Not that he was paying much attention.
Pavelski scored two power-play goals, helping the San Jose Sharks remain unbeaten at home with a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Saturday night.
“There are three, four, five guys like that here,” Pavelski said. “It’s so early in the season for that.”
Brent Burns, Scott Hannan, Patrick Marleau and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who have won their first five at home.
“We have a great comfort level here,” Sharks’ captain Joe Thornton said. “We come out strong, heavy and jump on teams. We’re aggressive from the drop of the puck.”
Sean Monahan, Mikael Backlund and Jiri Hudler scored for the Flames, who lost their second straight after opening the season 4-0-1.
“This is by far the best team we have played,” Calgary coach Bob Hartley said. “At the same time it was the worst game we’ve played. We made some bad decisions that cost us some goals. We made bad decisions and went to the box for unnecessary reasons and there was a little bad luck.”
Antti Niemi stopped 16 of 19 shots to record his 11th career win over the Flames, his most against any team. It was also his 100th as a Shark.
Karri Ramo, making his first start since the season opener, made 30 saves.
“Five goals, you can’t be happy about that,” Ramo said. “I felt like I was a little bit behind. When you keep giving them power plays, they are going to hurt you.”
The Sharks were 3 of 9 on the power play and have scored 11 times over their last 36 chances.
“The power play was huge,” Thornton said. “Especially in the third period, when they got two quick goals on us. It was good to respond.”
Burns gave the Sharks, who are 8-2-1 against Calgary in their past 11 meetings, the early lead with an easy tap from in front of the net. Pavelski beat Kris Russell to a puck in the corner and fed a wide-open Burns less than a minute into the contest.
“It’s always fun scoring on the first shift,” Pavelski said.
Hannan made it 2-0 in the final minute of the first period with a long shot.
Monahan put the Flames on the board with a power-play goal early in the second period. Sven Baertschi fed him the puck from behind the net, making it easy to beat Niemi.
Pavelski and Marleau, who has a goal in five straight games, each scored on power plays—both getting an assist on the other’s score—to give the Sharks a 4-1 edge heading into the third period.
“The first one I kind of set up in front of the net and Pavey gave me an outstanding pass through the box,” Marleau said.
The Flames scored twice in the first four minutes of the final period to pull to 4-3. Lee Stempniak took a shot that bounced off Niemi’s pads directly to Backlund, who notched the short-handed goal before the Sharks’ goalie cold recover.
Hudler scored two minutes later after taking a nice crossing pass from Monahan.
Pavelski redirected Couture’s shot for a power-play goal midway through the third period to put the Sharks on top 5-3.
“Pav was in a great spot,” said Couture, who wore the ‘A’ on his uniform for the first time. “We’ve worked on that play with the puck coming off the board and I just tried to get it to him.”
Couture added an empty-netter with 1:22 remaining to play.
NOTES: Burns missed a penalty shot in the first period as Ramo made a stick save on the near post. … San Jose F Bracken Kearns was assigned to Worchester of the AHL. … The Sharks scored in the first minute for the fourth time in their first eight games. … Hannan recorded his 200th career point with his goal. … Hudler has a point in each of the Flames seven games. … Monahan has scored in six of seven games. … Pavelski recorded his 20th career multi-goal game.