SAN JOSE -– In a wild, back-and-forth game between the Sharks and Flames, Calgary claimed a 6-5 shootout win at SAP Center on Thursday night.
The Sharks fought all the way back from a 4-1 first period deficit thanks in large part to three power play goals.
Early in the second, Logan Couture went top shelf after a cross-ice pass by Brent Burns less than a minute into the middle frame on a T.J. Brodie interference minor from late in the first period that carried over, to make it 4-2.
The Sharks were suddenly alive after the marker and Calgary took three more penalties in succession, leading to more than three minutes of two-man advantage time for San Jose. They got back to within one score when Patrick Marleau jammed in his second goal in as many games from Joe Thornton at 11:17 of the middle frame.
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That’s where the score stood until Joonas Donskoi tied it up in the third. After a blitzing rush into the offensive zone by Burns, the Wookiee pushed the puck to Couture in the corner. Couture immediately gunned a pass to Donskoi who poked it in at 2:46.
San Jose took its first lead of the night shortly after that. This time it was the second power play unit, as Dylan DeMelo had all kinds of net to shoot at for his second goal on a sweet seam pass from Joel Ward at 5:55.
Calgary ended the Sharks’ momentum at 8:08 with its second power play goal of the night. Sam Bennett’s wraparound try rattled around the crease and Kris Russell slammed it home to knot the score at five-all.
The Sharks went on another full two-minute, two-man advantage with three minutes left in regulation on penalties to Bennett (elbowing) and Mark Giordano for tripping Donskoi who was cutting to the net. Donskoi plowed into Karri Ramo, who had to leave the game at that point.
Jonas Hiller had to come in cold, saw a Marleau shot hit the crossbar, and robbed Couture on a redirection from the slot and the follow-up chance to force overtime.
In the shootout, Jiri Hudler got the game-deciding score in the fourth round. The Sharks fell to 2-2 in the skills competition.
Couture led the Sharks offensively with four points (1g, 3a), while Calgary’s Sam Bennett had one goal and two assists.
The Sharks (28-20-5, 61 points) remain in second place in the Pacific Division, six points behind Los Angeles and one ahead of Anaheim. They are 5-0-3 in their last eight home games.
The first period was one to forget for the Sharks, who were playing their first game back after four straight on the road out of the All-Star break.
Justin Braun factored in the first two Calgary scores. His turnover resulted in an eventual Bennett wrist shot from the top of the circle that got inside the far post at 4:12, and a little more than a minute later, Giordano’s wrist shot on the power play deflected off of Braun’s stick and through Alex Stalock.
San Jose got on the board with a deft setup of Tommy Wingels by Donskoi at 8:45, but Calgary got two more before the intermission.
Johnny Gaudreau skated around Tomas Hertl in the offensive zone before setting up Sean Monahan in front of the net at 12:46, and less than a minute later, Mikael Backlund got free and took advantage of Stalock over-committing before slipping it in an empty cage at 13:26.
The Sharks fell to 1-6-2 when missing one of their regular defensemen. Brenden Dillon sat out with an upper body injury after getting hurt early in Tuesday’s game in Chicago.
The game marked the fifth and final time the Sharks wore their special throwback teal jerseys. They finished 0-3-2 in them.
The five-game season series between the Sharks and Flames concludes on March 7 at the Saddledome. They have split the first four.
The Sharks finished 3-for-9 on the power play, and are 9-for-27 over their last six games (33.3 percent).
Calgary went 2-for-5, snapping the Sharks’ 11-for-11 run on the PK on their four-game road trip.
Stalock was playing for the first time since Dec. 18, as Martin Jones had played the previous eight games. He made 17 saves on 22 shots.
The Sharks backup, who may be in danger of losing his job, has allowed four or more goals eight times in his last 18 starts dating back to Jan. 19, 2015.
Ramo allowed five goals on 32 shots before he was helped off of the ice. Hiller stopped all seven shots he saw.
Dillon’s absence broke a string of 25 straight games the Sharks dressing the same six defensemen, as Matt Tennyson saw game action for the first time since Dec. 8.
Calgary had Monahan, Gaudreau and Lance Bouma back in the lineup after they were suspended for disciplinary reasons for Tuesday’s game against the Maple Leafs.
Marc-Edouard Vlasic increased his point/assist streak to six games (6a).
San Jose recalled Mirco Mueller on Thursday morning, but he did not play.
The Sharks host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday, before heading right back out on the road for a five-game trip. San Jose won the first meeting on Jan. 21 in Glendale, 3-1.