Skip to main content

Flames beat Sharks on Monahan's OT winner

by Eric Gilmore /

SAN JOSE -- Calgary Flames center Sean Monahan has gone from a 13-game goal drought to a two-game scoring streak.

Two nights after ending his slump with an empty-net goal in a victory against the Arizona Coyotes, Monahan scored 24 seconds into overtime to give the Flames a 4-3 victory against the San Jose Sharks on Saturday at SAP Center.

When Monahan scored against the Coyotes, he said he hoped it might be the spark he needed to trigger a hot streak. It just might be.

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

Monahan won an offensive-zone faceoff against Sharks forward Joe Pavelski, then went toward the net and buried the carom of defenseman Mark Giordano's backhander, which hit San Jose defenseman Justin Braun, for his 13th goal of the season.

"I just tried to get it back to [Giordano]," Monahan said of winning the draw. "He's got a good shot. Got it back there, he brought it to the middle and I tried to get to the net. Lucky enough it bounced right on my stick and [I had] an open net."

The overtime goal was Monahan's fourth in 120 career games. At 20 years and 89 days, he's the youngest player in NHL history to score four career OT goals, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"Everybody that plays hockey, they want to be the difference maker and I think in those times it's do or die," Monahan said. "I want to be that guy to make the difference and lucky enough sometimes that happens."

Dennis Wideman, Joe Colborne and Jiri Hudler also scored for Calgary (24-18-3), which has won the first three games of a five-game road trip.

Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Melker Karlsson scored for the Sharks (24-16-6), and Antti Niemi made 19 saves.

Calgary rookie goaltender Joni Ortio, making his third straight start after being recalled from Adirondack of the American Hockey League, made 19 saves for his third consecutive win. Ortio gave up one goal in his first two starts, including a 1-0 shutout of the Vancouver Canucks in his season debut.

The Flames jumped to a 2-0 lead in the first period, but the Sharks scored three times in the first nine minutes of the second period, and the teams entered the final period tied 3-3.

Ortio settled down after the Sharks' second-period flurry and made a handful of stellar saves in a scoreless third.

"I try not to overthink things," Ortio said. "You're going to let in goals. That's life. That's every day. Just trying to put that behind me and focus on the third period."

The Sharks are known for getting off to fast starts at home, but Wideman put Calgary ahead 40 seconds into the game when his slap shot from the blue line got past Niemi, who was screened by Calgary's Markus Granlund. It was Wideman's 11th goal of the season, and it ended a 17-game goalless streak.

Colborne made it 2-0 at 4:59 with a shorthanded goal, taking advantage of a Sharks giveaway in the neutral zone. Sharks defenseman Brent Burns fired a pass from deep in his own along the right boards to Pavelski, but Pavelski couldn't control the puck. Colborne grabbed the loose puck and sent it ahead to Matt Stajan, then took a return pass and beat Niemi with a wrist shot after a slick move in the slot.

"I just was kind of poaching there and a great play by (Stajan)," Colborne said. "He kind of read it and it was chipped into an area for me and I was lucky enough to put it in."

The Flames outshot San Jose 11-4 in the first period, and Ortio was rarely tested. The closest San Jose came to scoring was when Couture ripped a shot from the left circle that clanked off the far post midway through the period.

"We got what we deserved," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "And we are probably fortunate that we got (a point). The start was unacceptable, to a man. There's nights where we don't execute or are sloppy. Sometimes it's only half a team. Tonight was a full team. We're fortunate to have a point.

"We need to realize that. That start itself was unacceptable. We had a couple of video clips that we showed between periods. I think that humbled a few people and made them aware of what was really going on in the period."

The Sharks roared back to score three goals before the midway point of the second period to take a 3-2 lead.

Couture scored 12 seconds after the opening faceoff, ripping an unscreened shot from the left circle that beat Ortio to the far side.

The Sharks pulled even at 2:40 when Thornton buried a power-play rebound after Ortio stopped Pavelski's shot from the low slot. The goal was Thornton's 10th of the season, one fewer than he scored in all of 2013-14.

Karlsson gave San Jose a 3-2 lead at 9:00 of the second with his seventh goal of the season and sixth in his past eight games. Pavelski sent a pass through the crease that deflected off Karlsson's right skate. It was ruled a goal on the ice and the call was confirmed after a video review that determined Karlsson did not use a distinct kicking motion to put the puck in the net.

Calgary tied it 3-3 at 11;32 on Hudler's 14th goal of the season. He tracked down the puck after a blocked shot and wristed a shot past Niemi.

"These are games that we can't spot the other team two goals and expect to win," said Sharks forward Patrick Marleau, who had a great chance to break the tie midway through the third period when he raced in on a breakaway, but Ortio made a diving save.

"Huge, huge," Flames coach Bob Hartley said of Ortio's save. "Joni was clutch at the right time. I don't think it was a tough game to play, but at the same time, a 3-3 tie and here comes Marleau. So it was a huge save. It was the save of the game."

View More