CALGARY –- A big part of the reason the Sharks brought in James Reimer to back up Martin Jones for the stretch run is they don’t want their starting goalie to be warn out before the playoffs.
A few more efforts like the one in front of him on Monday at the Saddledome, though, and Jones might be gassed by St. Patrick’s Day.
Jones made a career-high 47 saves, and Joe Pavelski scored in overtime to give the Sharks a 2-1 win in a game that was simply stolen by San Jose’s goaltender.
The Sharks improved to 4-1-0 in their last five games, while the Flames dropped their eighth in the last nine (1-7-1).
Trailing 1-0 for approximately 58 minutes, Joe Colborne redirected a Mark Giordano shot with 1:22 to go to tie the game at 1-1 and send it into overtime. It was the Flames’ seventh power play, after Brenden Dillon’s delay of game minor at 17:18.
In overtime, the Sharks won the center ice faceoff and never let the Flames touch the puck. Pavelski pushed in a centering pass from Brent Burns for his 30th of the season, just 19 seconds into the extra session.
Burns gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead early. A loose puck that went high in the air ended up on the defenseman’s stick, and his wrist shot from high in the zone had eyes, zipping into the top corner at 1:56.
It was Burns’ 24th of the season, leading all NHL defensemen, and extended his goal-scoring streak to four games.
Calgary controlled the majority of the rest of the first period, thanks in part to three minor penalties on the Sharks. Jones made some skillful saves on Sean Monahan and Dougie Hamilton with his club shorthanded, though, and it remained 1-0 at the break.
The Flames dominated the second period, but still couldn’t solve Jones despite three more power plays. The netminder’s best stop came midway through, when he knocked aside a Johnny Gaudreau wrist shot while the Flames were on a man advantage.
San Jose got its first shot of the middle frame with 9:49 to go, ending a stretch of more than 21 minutes without a shot on goal. It was a good one, too, but Joni Ortio got in front of it after Tomas Hertl set up his fellow third-year forward on a two-on-one.
In the third, Lance Bouma missed a wide open net on a pass through the slot by Colborne with 11-and-a-half to go, and Jones ate up a Gaudreau redirection with under seven minutes to play.
The Flames outshot the Sharks 30-11 through two periods, and 48-23 for the game.
Calgary nearly took a 1-0 lead early. Dougie Hamilton’s shot trickled through Jones, but Dillon out-battled Mikael Backlund in front of the net and the puck was eventually cleared out of the way. Burns gave the Sharks the lead seconds later.
The Sharks concluded the season series against Calgary with a 3-1-1 mark.
One game after being shorthanded seven times against Vancouver on Saturday, the Sharks were down a man seven more times against the Flames. They killed off the first six before Colborne’s late marker.
The Sharks had just one power play, lasting only 34 seconds.
At 8:03 of the second period, Burns and Calgary’s Garnet Hathaway came together after Burns inadvertently whacked the rookie in the head during a net-front battle. They ended up fighting, and Burns earned a double minor for high-sticking while Hathaway was tagged with a minor for instigation and a 10-minute misconduct.
Jones was back in net after it was Reimer on Saturday. He’s started 10 of the last 11 games overall for San Jose.
Ortio was facing the Sharks for the first time this season and second time in his career, allowing two goals on 23 shots. He was the hard-luck loser, pulling off some pretty saves on Nieto in the second and Joe Thornton in the third.
Melker Karlsson returned on the fourth line after a two-game absence due to injury, replacing Micheal Haley.
Burns' four-game goal streak is a franchise record for Sharks defensemen.
The Sharks make their final visit ever to Rexall Place on Tuesday night, looking to avenge a 4-3 overtime loss there to Todd McLellan’s Oilers on Dec. 9.
After that, 12 of San Jose’s final 16 games are at the SAP Center.