Flames win pivotal matchup with Sharks

Calgary 3 San Jose 2 CALGARY — Matt Stajan scored in overtime and Jarome Iginla joined elite company with another 30-goal season as the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Tuesday in a pivotal Western Conference encounter with the San Jose Sharks.

San Jose Sharks' Daniel Winnik

Calgary 3 San Jose 2

CALGARY — Matt Stajan scored in overtime and Jarome Iginla joined elite company with another 30-goal season as the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 Tuesday in a pivotal Western Conference encounter with the San Jose Sharks.

In the final minute of the extra period, the Flames broke in on a two-on-one and executed it perfectly with Blake Comeau sending a pass across to Stajan, who fired his fifth goal of the season into the open side.

Sven Baertschi also scored for the Flames (33-25-12), who have four straight.

Logan Couture scored his 29th and 30th goals for San Jose (34-25-10). Despite having just one win in their last seven games (1-3-3), the Sharks’ single point moves them into the eighth spot in the Western Conference.

Calgary and Colorado are even with the Sharks at 78 points, but San Jose has one game in hand on Calgary and two on the Avalanche.

Couture tied the game 1:22 into the third period as the Sharks third-ranked power play, after going 0-for-4 through the first two periods, finally converted with the extra man.

The second period has been the nemesis for the Flames all season —they have been outscored 79-56 — but on this night they scored the only two goals to take a 2-1 lead.

Iginla’s go-ahead goal came on an unusual play. Sharks defenceman Marc-Edouard Vlasic fired the puck up the side boards into open ice. However, just as he released the puck, Mark Giordano stepped onto the ice after the expiration of his penalty.

Giordano carried the puck into the Sharks end, pulled up and sent a cross-ice pass to Iginla, who one-timed a slapshot past Antti Niemi.

The Flames captain hit the 30-goal mark for the 11th straight season, which puts him in elite company. Only six other players have accomplished that feat: Wayne Gretzky, Phil Esposito, Bobby Hull, Marcel Dionne, Jaromir Jagr and Mike Gartner.

Iginla has been hot of late with goals in five straight games and points (seven goals, five assists) in seven straight games.

Curtis Glencross had been even hotter, entering the night with goals in seven consecutive games.

However, his bid to equal the franchise record of eight, held by Gary Roberts (1993) and Kent Nilsson (1983), ended abruptly when he was given a boarding major and game misconduct with 29 seconds left in the first period.

After getting dumped in the Sharks end by Jason Demers, Glencross got right up and as the San Jose defenceman went to play the puck near the boards, Glencross shoved him in the back, sending Demers face-first into the glass.

The Sharks produced five shots on goal during the five-minute power play but none of them were really dangerous. Shortly after the Flames returned to even strength, Baertschi tied the score 1-1.

The speedy 19-year-old winger sent a pass to Roman Horak in the corner, who directed a shot on net. Niemi made the stop but Baertschi pounced on the rebound and whipped a shot over Niemi’s shoulder for his second goal in as many games.

Baertschi, the 13th overall selection in last June’s entry draft, has played three games for the Flames since being recalled a week ago from the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League on an emergency basis due to the Flames injury woes, which included seven missing forwards at the time.

Six forwards remain out but as soon as one of them is ready to return, Baertschi will return to junior.

San Jose opened the scoring 53 seconds into the game.

Good pressure by the Sharks in the Flames put Kiprusoff to work early and while he turned aside the first three shots he faced, the latter off the stick of defenceman resulted in a rebound that Couture buried.

It was the first time in 12 games the Flames failed to score the opening goal.

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