Evgeni Nabokov took his turn as the starting netminder for Ron Wilson and San Jose grabbed a 6-3 victory in Calgary, running their preseason mark to 5-1.
Team Teal took the early lead less than three minutes into the contest via the power play. Marc-Edouard Vlasic
’s point shot found its way across the line thank to a screen from Graham Mink.
Calgary quickly returned the favor when they sent out their power play unit. An initial point shot was stopped by Nabokov, however, Kristian Huselius was able to put the rebound across the goal line, tying the contest.
The early tallies would be all the scoring in period number one against former teammates Nabokov and Miikka Kiprusoff.
Early in the second, former league MVP Jarome Iginla found himself on a breakaway and quickly scored his second goal in as many games.
Within a span of 43 seconds Steve Bernier not only tied the game, but put San Jose up for a second time on the evening. His first goal came as Patrick Marleau
jumped on a loose puck behind the Flames net. The Captain quickly fed Bernier out front who forced the puck across the line near the game’s midway point.
On the following play, Milan Michalek forced a turnover that sent Marleau streaking into the Flames zone. He was heading in on Kiprusoff, but noted Bernier trailing. He dropped a pass that picked up by the second year winger from Quebec who put in the go-ahead goal.
Huselius joined Bernier as two-goal scorer when he tied the contest. Dion Phaneuf launched a bomb from the point. Nabokov stopped the blast, but Huselius was there for the rebound late in the second period.
A fight broke out as the third period wound down. After Marleau nearly scored, Bernier looked for a loose puck. Robyn Rehehr took exception to Bernier and initiated a spirited battle that saw both sent to the lockerroom for the remainder of the period.
After 40 minutes of action, everything was tied at three.
Just five minutes into the third, Curtis Brown put the Sharks up again. Upon drawing the faceoff back to Kyle McLaren, the centerman headed to the net. McLaren’s shot was hard and low and Brown deftly redirected it past Kiprusoff for the 4-3 lead.
Team Teal would take their first two-goal lead of the game when Bernier completed his quest for a hat trick. Michalek found “Big Bear” in the slot and Bernier one-timed it home to finish a shift that had the Marleau line attacking for almost 40 seconds.
Bernier joined Michalek as Sharks players with hat tricks in the preseason.
Calgary pulled Kiprusoff in an attempt to close the gap, but the effort was wasted as Michalek added the empty-netter to finish off the 6-3 win.
The Sharks will play home games against Los Angeles on Friday night (7:30 p.m.) and Calgary on Saturday night (7:30 p.m.) at HP Pavilion. The games will be carried on 98.5 KFOX and sjsharks.com. Tickets are still available at the HP Pavilion Box Office and through www.ticketmaster.com.