Sharks open 2013 sked by sliding past Flames
Calgary, AB (Sports Network) - Patrick Marleau tallied twice in a three-goal second period as the San Jose Sharks posted a 4-1 victory over the Calgary Flames at the Saddledome.
"It was great to be back," Marleau said. "Even though it was their home opener, just being at the rink and having the fans cheering, it was something special. It's good that we got a couple early in the second period to take control and then try to build off that."
Martin Havlat and Dan Boyle added scores for the Sharks, who opened up their abbreviated 2013 slate with a win in a brief western Canadian trip.
Joe Pavelski and Joe Thornton posted two assists each, while Antti Niemi stopped 31 shots.
Lee Stempniak provided the sole offense for the Flames, who host Anaheim on Monday. Miikka Kiprusoff made 25 saves in defeat.
Marleau evened the score on the advantage with 6:08 left in the second period, as he took a Thornton feed and beat Kiprusoff from atop the crease.
San Jose went up 2-1 just 1:13 later when Havlat picked up a rebound at the right post and tucked it home, and Marleau swept home a rebound from the left side with 1:50 to go for a two-goal edge.
Though Calgary kept up pressure in the third period, Niemi and his teammates stood firm. Alex Tanguay was left alone at the left post with under seven minutes left and either Niemi or one of his defensemen smothered the chance.
Boyle added a point blast during a 5-on-3 advantage with one minute left in regulation to seal it.
"We had our chances and Niemi played well," Stempniak said. "But you can't just let things snowball out of control. We hit a post early on. Those are all things that I think contributed but for us, we stopped skating and things sort of fell apart. To me that's the issue."
Calgary picked up a power-play goal with 7:39 left in the first period as Stempniak ripped one home inside the near post from the right circle.
Both Steve Begin and Mikael Backlund had breakaways in the ensuing minutes, but the former lifted his backhander high and the latter was turned away by Niemi's pads.
San Jose plays in Edmonton on Tuesday ... Calgary was 2-1-1 vs. San Jose last season ... The Sharks were eliminated in a five-game first-round series to St. Louis, and the Flames failed to make the postseason.
01/20 23:08:30 ET