Sharks 6, Flames 1

November 13, 2008 10:42:59 PM PST
Milan Michalek and Joe Pavelski scored two goals apiece, and the San Jose Sharks' defense corps set a franchise record with nine assists in a 6-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday night.

Pavelski, captain Patrick Marleau and Joe Thornton scored power-play goals in the four-goal first period of the Sharks' 10th win in 11 home games this season. San Jose improved the NHL's best record to 14-3-1.

Defensemen Christian Ehrhoff, Rob Blake and Dan Boyle had three assists apiece as the Sharks embarrassed the Flames, who couldn't keep up with San Jose's relentless approach under new coach Todd McLellan. The Sharks lead the NHL in total goals and shots per game.

Led by Michalek and Pavelski on the potent second line, San Jose roared back from its first back-to-back losses of the season. Two nights after setting a franchise record with 57 shots in a frustrating overtime loss to Nashville, the Sharks pounded Miikka Kiprusoff with 20 shots in the first period and finished with 46.

Brian Boucher made 23 saves in his fourth straight start in place of injured Evgeni Nabokov. Michael Cammalleri scored a power-play goal with 9:47 left to break up Boucher's shutout bid.

Curtis McElhinney stopped 24 shots in relief of Kiprusoff during the final two periods for the Flames, who lost for the fifth time in seven games since their six-game winning streak.

San Jose still doesn't have Nabokov or forward Jonathan Cheechoo, who missed their fourth straight games with injuries. Cheechoo is back at practice, but Nabokov still could be a few days away from resuming action.

After a three-week stretch with no games farther east than Denver, the Sharks will play four of six on the road, starting Sunday in Chicago.

In the first rematch of the clubs' physical seven-game playoff series last spring, Pavelski scored 6 seconds into a power play in the opening minutes, popping a rebound home through traffic. Michalek followed 27 seconds later with a breakaway, using a slick hesitation move to force Kiprusoff to flinch before winging a shot past him.

Marleau then added another goal 3 seconds before a power play ended, swatting at a rebound of Blake's vicious shot from the point, and Thornton knocked home a loose puck a power play shortly afterward. Calgary coach Mike Keenan replaced Kiprusoff to start the second period, but Michalek got another goal 78 seconds later when the Flames' defense broke down.

Pavelski scored his seventh goal of the season during a two-man advantage early in the third.

Notes:@ Boyle was back in the lineup after a one-game absence for the birth of his first child. ... Sharks RW Mike Grier left in the first period with a lower-body injury. He slammed his stick against the ice in frustration while he skated slowly off the ice. ... San Jose's defensemen had eight assists two previous times, most recently in 1995.


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