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Monahan draws on confidence

by Aaron Vickers / Calgary Flames

When you put the puck in the net it gives you that confidence. Once you get one I think they start coming. Lucky enough I got another one tonight and hopefully I can keep going.Sean Monahan

SAN JOSE, CA -- Sean Monahan’s confidence is growing.

Scoring the game-winner just 24 seconds into overtime to lead his Calgary Flames to a 4-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Saturday shows just that.

“When you put the puck in the net it gives you that confidence,” said Monahan, who has responded from a 13-game scoring drought by rebounding with goals in back-to-back games. “Once you get one I think they start coming. Lucky enough I got another one tonight and hopefully I can keep going.”

The manner in which he netted his latest -- the 13th of the season for the 20-year-old sophomore -- shows growth, too.

Bearing down on an offensive zone faceoff against Joe Pavelski, Monahan muscled the draw back to Calgary’s point before heading to the net to finish off Mark Giordano’s backhander, which skipped off Sharks defenceman Justin Braun, and give Calgary a third straight win.

“He’s got a good shot and got it back there,” Monahan said. “He brought it to the middle and I tried to get to the net and lucky enough it bounced right on my stick and (I had) an open net.”

Only four centres (Claude Giroux, Tyler Bozak, Patrice Bergeron, Mikko Koivu) had taken more faceoffs than Monahan’s 995.

“Give Monny credit,” Joe Colborne started. “He takes a lot of tough draws, especially in the D-zone for us. It’s nice for him to get a few offensive zone draws. To get that winner is big for his confidence.”

It’s been a point of improvement.

A year ago, Monahan took a total of 1036 faceoffs at a success rate of 46 percent. He sits at just a sliver over 50 percent this season, winning 498 meetings at the dot this year.

His latest win gave the Flames two points against the Pacific Division rival.

“Monny really improved on faceoffs this year. It shows it right there,” said Calgary coach Bob Hartley, whose Flames own the second wild card spot in the Western Conference. “We won the draw and we won the game.”

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