San Jose

1st-Period Flurry Leads Sharks Past Flames For 4th Straight Win

The San Jose Sharks scored three goals in a 1:25 span during the first period Thursday night and held on the beat the Calgary Flames 5-2 to run their win streak to four.

Evander Kane, Brent Burns and Tomas Hertl scored the three quick goals to give San Jose a lead it wouldn't relinquish, ultimately putting the Sharks within 2 points of the Pacific Division-leading Flames.

The highly-anticipated rematch between the Sharks and the Flames wasn’t the fight-fest most people thought it would be. But it was an exciting, fast-paced fete, with edge-of-your-seat entertainment right up until the final buzzer.

San Jose might’ve allowed the opposition to score the opening goal early in the game. But they buckled down and battled back.

Here are three takeaways from the Sharks' fourth consecutive win:

They got revenge on the scoreboard: This game was circled on many people’s calendars after the teams last met on New Year’s Eve and things got ugly in the last few minutes when Sam Bennett hit Radim Simek. (We’ll get to that in just a second.) But instead of opening up the contest throwing their gloves onto the ice, San Jose kept their game tight and chased starting netminder David Rittich from the game.

Evander Kane -- who fans and talking heads alike thought would be throwing haymakers -- led the offensive charge by scoring San Jose’s first and fourth goals on the evening. His line with Tomas Hertl -- who scored two goals himself -- and Joonas Donskoi caught fire like they had before the bye week, matching Calgary’s speed and tenacity to a 'T'.

Martin Jones came up big: Yes, it was concerning at the start of the game when the Flames scored their first goal less than five minutes into the contest. After that, though, Martin Jones settled in and came up big for San Jose. The Flames didn’t let up after the Sharks increased their lead, and Jones had to stand on his head a couple times to keep them from finding the back of the net.

Jones had two saves on Johnny Gaudreau that were easily his best of the evening, if not two of the best of his whole 2018-19 campaign. In the second period, Gaudreau was lightning fast as he tried to bury a wraparound attempt, but Jones outstretched his right skate to stop the puck with his toe. Then, on a huge penalty kill in the third frame, Gaudreau fanned on a shot and Jones narrowly stopped a power-play goal. Speaking of which …

The penalty kill was on full display: Nevermind the one power-play goal Calgary got in the second period. San Jose’s penalty kill has gradually gotten better since the team came back from the break, looking more like the dominant product it was at the start of the season. Since the Sharks got into their fair share of penalty trouble on Thursday evening, the kill got plenty of work in, and they didn’t disappoint.

One player who was particularly noticeable on the Sharks’ big kill in the third period was Radim Simek. The defenseman had a strong game in his return to Calgary after being hit by Sam Bennett on December 31. In addition to tallying an assist in the first period and creating the play deep in the defensive zone that resulted in Kane’s second goal, Simek was a big help to Jones keeping the puck out of the crease.

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