CALGARY, AB -- The Calgary Flames have found that winning feeling on home ice.
After dropping a franchise record seven straight on Scotiabank Saddledome ice, the Flames have rebounded to win four consecutive games to start a five-game home stand after dispatching of the struggling San Jose Sharks 4-1 on Thursday.
Karri Ramo made 27 saves for the victory, San Jose’s third straight defeat. The Sharks, who had been shut out in their previous two outings, did manage to end a 160:36 scoreless drought early in the third period courtesy Eriah Hayes’ first career goal, Ramo’s only blemish on the night.
It didn’t take long for the Flames to work towards their season-high four game-winning streak.
Mikael Backlund danced around Matt Irwin before firing a shot on Alex Stalock, who kicked a rebound right onto the stick of Lee Stempniak. Stempniak made no mistake in converting his eighth of the year near the midway mark of the first to put Calgary up 1-0.
That lead was extended to 2-0 thanks to Mark Giordano 3:38 into the second.
Hayes pulled the Sharks back to within one with his first, but Sean Monahan batted his team-leading 15th of the year out of the air and behind Stalock at the 13-minute mark to restore Calgary’s two-goal lead.
Jiri Hudler erased any doubt of the win with his empty netter in the late stages of the game to help the Flames continue their streak.
GOAL OF THE GAME
After busting by Irwin, Backlund’s shot was kicked out by Stalock directly onto the stick of Stempniak, who wasted little time converting his eighth of the season near the midway mark of the first period.
SAVE OF THE GAME
After James Sheppard caught the Flames on a bad line change, he came barreling in alone on Ramo, who made the initial save before Giordano swept the loose puck out of the crease on the ensuing scrum.
With the Sharks finally snapping their goalless drought and pushing for the equalizer in the third, Monahan’s team-leading 15th of the year gave the Flames some extra breathing room in cruising to a fourth straight victory at home.
STAT OF THE GAME
With his second period goal, Giordano extended his career-best point scoring streak to eight straight games.
Christopher Breen and Paul Byron were scratched Thursday against the Sharks. Mike Cammalleri (concussion) and Curtis Glencross (high ankle sprain) also missed the game due to injury.
The Flames will wrap up the home portion of their pre-Olympic schedule Saturday in the finale of a five-game homestand against the Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. MST, CBC, Sportsnet 960 The Fan).