San Jose Sharks\' Ben Eager, left, tries to get around Calgary Flames\' Anton Babchuk, from Ukraine, during second-period NHL hockey game action in Calgary, Alberta, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)
CALGARY - San Jose's Ryane Clowe went from putting his Sharks in peril to being the game's first star.
Clowe scored a tying goal late in the third period and then a deciding marker in a shootout as San Jose won 4-3 over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
With the Flames leading 3-2 late in the second period, Clowe took a holding penalty and then earned an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct to send Calgary on an extended power play.
“He took it upon himself,”said Devin Setoguchi, who scored to give San Jose a 1-0 lead in the opening frame.“He took four minutes, it’s not a good feeling for a player. It’s got to feel good for him and it goes to show the character we have on our team, and him as a leader.”
After San Jose killed off the double minor, the Sharks pressed hard for the tying goal and were rewarded when Clowe converted a feed from Patrick Marleau at 17:26 of the third period.
“It was a great play by Patty Marleau to pass it to me from the corner,”said Clowe, who snapped a shot from the slot past Calgary goalie Miikka Kiprusoff.“I tried to shoot it before Kipper got set. I know that’s a hard shot for the goalie, kind of half way up on the blocker side. It was good to see it go in.”
Clowe was the lone player to score in the shootout on Kiprusoff, who made 30 saves in regulation and through overtime. Clowe made a deke to his backhand before sliding the puck across to his forehand and tucking it into the net.
“We gave him an opportunity and he went out and got it done,”said San Jose coach Todd McLellan.”
San Jose (36-21-6) netminder Antti Niemi made 21 saves in the game and three more in the shootout, including one on Calgary (31-23-9) forward Olli Jokinen which could have extended the game further.
“I was a little nervous and hoping he’d stop Jokinen there and that was big,”Clowe said.
Kyle Wellwood notched San Jose’s other goal.
David Moss, Niklas Hagman and Anton Babchuk scored in regulation for the Flames, who moved into seventh spot and into a playoff position in the Western Conference by gaining the single point.
“It was a tough loss,”said Hagman, who ended his 16-game goalless drought.“It’s always fun to score, and I haven’t been doing that a lot lately so I cannot lie, it felt good.”
San Jose opened the scoring at 3:34 of the first period when Setoguchi backhanded his own rebound past Kiprusoff.
Calgary tied it late in the opening frame as Babchuk skated across the San Jose blue-line and fired a harmless-looking shot that somehow snuck over Niemi’s blocker.
The Sharks went up 2-1 midway through the second when Wellwood chipped a rebound up and over Kiprusoff just after the Calgary goalie made a nice pad save on a shot by Joe Pavelski.
The Flames tied the contest once again at 15:54 of the second when Moss took a pass from Jokinen and blasted a slap shot through Niemi’s five-hole.
Hagman, who the Flames put on waivers earlier in the week, then took a drop pass from Brendan Morrison before he turned Wallin inside out with a series of moves and roofed a shot into the top corner to make it 3-2.
Marleau nearly tied the game with five minutes to play, taking his own rebound and firing a shot on goal that defenceman Mark Giordano went flat out in the Calgary crease to stop.
“We let them take the game to us in the last 10 minutes,”said Calgary coach Brent Sutter.“They were skating and moving and we were standing and watching.”
Notes: San Jose defenceman Dan Boyle missed his first game of the season after sustaining an upper-body injury on Wednesday night during a 3-2 road win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.…After playing 13 of their past 17 games on the road, the Sharks will return to San Jose for a six-game homestand.…San Jose forward Jamal Mayers recorded his first point in 23 games with an assist on Wellwood’s goal.