SAN JOSE – Joonas Donskoi entered Tuesday night without a goal since the end of October.
In the second period, though, he scored a pair in less than two minutes, helping the Sharks break their game with the Flames at SAP Center wide open. San Jose won, 4-1, its fifth victory in its last six.
All four of San Jose’s goals came at even strength in the middle frame, staking the Sharks a four-goal lead and essentially putting the game out of reach by the second intermission.
Patrick Marleau opened the scoring, when a point shot by Marc-Edouard Vlasic hit traffic in front and bounded to Marleau’s tape in the slot. The franchise’s all-time leading scorer easily slipped the puck over the line on his backhand at 5:35.
Paul Martin upped the lead to 2-0, when his point shot took a few odd bounces on its way inside the far post at 9:18.
That’s when Donskoi, who had just two goals, doubled his season output in just one minute and 56 seconds. On the first, Donskoi was set up by Tommy Wingels, who chipped the puck ahead and chased it down behind the net. Donskoi had all kinds of room to fire it home after receiving Wingels’ pass, as Chad Johnson left the cage wide open at 14:23.
Shortly after that, Mikael Backlund pushed a loose puck right to Donskoi’s stick in the high slot, and the 24-year-old Finnish winger swiped it in with a backhand at 16:19.
Donskoi, who was a healthy scratch on Dec. 14 in Ottawa, hadn’t scored since Oct. 29 against Nashville. He has four points (2g, 2a) in three games since coming out of the lineup.
Sam Bennett scored Calgary’s only goal at 1:19 of the third period.
After a seven-game winning streak earlier this month, the Flames lost for the third time in four games (1-3-0).
The Sharks beat the Flames for just the second time in San Jose in the last seven meetings (2-3-2). The teams have spilt the first two games of the season series, both in San Jose.
Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton each had two assists. Thornton became just the 37th player in league history to appear in 1400 games.
The Flames’ streak of eight straight games with at least one power play goal came to an end, as they went 0-for-1. Calgary had been 13-for-33 with a man advantage entering the game.
The Sharks went 0-for-5, including a third period power play after Lance Bouma drove hard into Martin Jones, drawing a goalie interference minor and Wingels, who promptly pounced on the Flames forward.
Starting his fifth straight game and 11th in the last 12, Jones made 20 saves. Early in the second period he made a pair of pretty saves on Michael Ferland, keeping it scoreless.
Johnson, who seems to have supplanted Brian Elliott as the Calgary starter, took the loss with four goals allowed on 34 shots.
David Schlemko was a healthy scratch, paving the way for Dylan DeMelo to get back in the lineup. Joel Ward also sat for the second time in three games in favor of Micheal Haley.
Melker Karlsson played despite leaving Sunday’s game in Chicago with an apparent head injury.
Brent Burns’ eight-game point streak (4g, 5a) came to an end.
The Sharks will get a two-day break before welcoming Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers on Friday. Following a three-day break for Christmas, the schedule resumes on Dec. 27 in Anaheim.