Flames use fast start to beat Sharks 6-2


SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Milan Lucic and Tobias Rieder scored in a span of 34 seconds early in the first period, Matthew Tkachuk added a highlight-reel tally in the third, and the Calgary Flames beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Monday night.

“It was good to come out with the start we had and going up 3-0,” Tkahcuk said. “It tided us over as they came back. But I thought all in all we did a good job of coming out here and playing with the lead the whole game.”

Zac Rinaldo, Mark Jankowski and Mikael Backlund also scored to give the Flames back-to-back wins following a three-game losing streak thanks to some unlikely scorers.

Calgary got goals from all three fourth-liners in Rieder, Rinaldo and Jankowski, who entered the game with seven goals in 98 games.

But the prettiest of all came from Tkachuk, who played the puck between his legs before beating Aaron Dell on a power-play goal that made it 5-2.

“It was a pretty impressive goal,” Backlund said. “He’s obviously worked on it a lot. … He’s done at least three times that I know of.”

David Rittich made 34 saves for the Flames.

Erik Karlsson and Brent Burns scored for the Sharks, who were trying for their first three-game winning streak since November. Dell made 31 saves.

“We said all along we have to be a detailed and structured team to give ourselves a chance and I don’t think we were detailed or structured especially in the first 10 minutes,” interim coach Bob Boughner said.

The Flames jumped out early by scoring on back-to-back shifts in the first five minutes of the first period. The Sharks nearly killed off an early penalty to Brenden Dillon but Radim Simek’s clearing attempt was stopped at the blue line by Rasmus Andersson.

Calgary quickly turned that mistake into a goal with Andersson feeding Backlund, who set up Lucic for the backdoor tip to make it 1-0.

The Flames added to the lead on the next shift when Jankoswki’s shot from the slot went off the back boards to Rieder, who tapped it into the open net.

Rinaldo added his goal a few minutes later on the fourth rebound during a scramble following an icing against the Sharks.

San Jose finally got back into the game after that with Karlsson scoring off a give-and-go with Barclay Goodrow in the first period and Burns scoring on the power play early in the second.

The Sharks put heavy pressure on after that but couldn’t get the equalizer and fell back behind by two when Lucic’s cross-ice pass on the rush deflected off Timo Meier’s stick and bounced off Jankowski’s chest for a goal.

“Obviously didn’t get off to the start we wanted to,” Sharks forward Stefan Noesen said. “Maybe we had a little bit of arrogance in our game just to start, and that kind of backfired. We’ll get back to work. I think we had some pretty good pushes. We responded fairly well and they had that one that hit off the guy’s chest and went in. Maybe got a little deflated off that.”

Backlund and Tkachuk scored on the power play in the third period.

NOTES: The Sharks had been just 3 for 49 on the power play over the past 20 home games before Burns converted on the first chance of this game. … Flames D Travis Hamonic went back to Calgary after leaving Saturday’s game at Vancouver with an injury. … Calgary F Sam Bennett missed the game with an illness.


Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Wednesday.

Sharks: Visit Winnipeg on Friday.


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