CALGARY - Daymond Langkow scored twice as the red-hot Calgary Flames avenged a one-sided loss to San Jose earlier in the season, cruising past the Sharks 5-2 Tuesday night.
The Flames have been one of the NHL's hottest teams since getting trounced 6-1 by the Sharks on Nov. 13. Calgary has gone 15-4-3 since then, and kept up its strong play with a impressive performance against the NHL's top team.
It was clear from the outset that the Flames were a different team than the one that the Sharks outshot 46-24 eight weeks ago at HP Pavilion.
Calgary led 2-0 early on goals by Curtis Glencross and Langkow and had a 15-0 edge on the shot clock before San Jose was finally able to direct its first shot on Miikka Kiprusoff, a bad angle wrist shot from Mike Grier at 16:51 of the first. The Flames extended the lead to 3-0 late in the period on a Mark Giordano power-play goal.
Calgary began the second period in a similar fashion, with Langkow one-timing Rene Bourque's pass behind Evgeni Nabokov at 1:26 to quickly make it 4-0. Langkow's 16th of the season ended the evening for Nabokov, who was pulled for the first time this season being replaced by Brian Boucher.
Nabokov finished with 14 saves on 18 shots, seeing record fall to 21-4-4.
Second-period goals by Ryane Clowe and Grier moved the Sharks to within two, but that was as close as they would get.
David Moss had the other goal for Calgary (24-12-4), which improved to 8-1-3 in its last 12 games to open up up a five-point lead over the Vancouver Canucks atop the Northwest Division.
San Jose (29-5-5) lost in regulation for the first time in its last seven games (4-1-2).
It was on the Flames' 12th shot that they finally opened the scoring. On a two-on-one rush, Glencross fired a shot that squeezed through Nabokov's pads.
A defensive lapse cost the Sharks on the second goal. Langkow positioned himself directly behind defenceman Christian Ehrhoff at the top of the goal crease, and from there he steered in Todd Bertuzzi's centring pass.
The Flames moved ahead 3-0 when Giordano's rising shot from the blue-line found the top corner. With his view blocked by Moss, who was positioned directly in front of him, Nabokov did not move on the shot.
San Jose finally answered when Clowe slapped in a rebound at 5:30 of the second.
The Sharks connected again when Patrick Marleau stole the puck from Adrian Aucoin and set up Grier's eighth goal of the season at 9:22 of the second.
San Jose continued to pressure in the third but Kiprusoff stood strong against his former team. His best save in a 11-shot third period came on a pad stop off Clowe, who was set up perfectly in front for a one-time by Joe Pavelski.
The Flames added some breathing room with Moss's goal at 10:06.
The final shots ended up even at 28-28.
Notes: Iginla played in his 900th career game. ... Langkow's two-goal effort extended his points streak to six games (five goals, four assists). ... San Jose entered the game second in the NHL in both most shots for (34.8) and fewest shots against (26.9). ... San Jose D Douglas Murray (lower body) returned to the line-up after missing two games. ... San Jose C Joe Thornton had his six-game scoring streak snapped (one goal, 10 assists).