Couture, Barabanov goals rally Sharks past Flames 4-3
CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Logan Couture and Alexander Barabanov scored in a 28-second span in the third period, rallying the San Jose Sharks to a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
“Coming into this building after a trade deadline, having guys injured and out of the lineup, I thought it was a great team effort,” San Jose head coach Bob Boughner said.
It’s the third time this season the Sharks beat the Flames, the top team in the Pacific Division. All three wins have been in regulation.
“They’re a very good hockey team and we’ve played them hard now three times this year,” Couture said. “Sometimes the best teams in the league bring the best out of us. It’s a good attribute to have.”
Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Timo Meier also scored for San Jose (28-27-8).
Johnny Gaudreau, Dillon Dube, and Mikael Backlund scored for Calgary (38-17-8), which lost at home in regulation for just the second time in 19 games (15-2-2). Matthew Tkachuk had a pair of assists.
It’s also the first time this season the Flames lost in regulation after heading into the third period with a lead (31-1-2).
“We’re up 3-2 going into the third, at home, that’s a great spot to be in,” said Matthew Tkachuk, who had two assists. “We allow a wide open chance in front, somebody by himself and you can’t do that, you got to make sure that doesn’t happen. Then basically a 2-on-0 at the end, that’s a goal on any goalie in the league.”
After allowing a pair of early goals, Sharks goaltender James Reimer settled in, finishing with 28 stops. He improved to 17-13-6.
Calgary’s Jacob Markstrom had 34 saves and fell to 29-12-7.
“That’s not good enough from me. That’s what happens when you don’t get goaltending in this league, you lose hockey games,” Markstrom said.
“He’s played well, obviously,” said Flames goaltending coach Jason LaBarbera, who addressed the media in place of head coach Darryl Sutter. “It’s a long season, there’s gonna be ups and downs, for sure. But you move past it and you get back to work tomorrow.”
Down 3-2 after 40 minutes, San Jose tied it 11:07 into the third when Tomas Hertl worked the puck out front where Barabanov was wide open and he snapped a shot inside the post for his 10th goal.
The go-ahead goal came on a defensive zone turnover. Blake Coleman’s pass attempt off the sideboards hit Sasha Chmelevski in the skate and caromed to Noah Gregor. Gregor’s shot was stopped, but Couture scored on the rebound.
With the goalie pulled, the Flames applied heavy pressure over the final minutes, but could not get the puck past Reimer.
The Flames took a 3-1 lead 4:08 into the second when Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson turned the puck over to Gaudreau. On the ensuing two-on-one, Gaudreau set up Backlund, who slipped the puck through Reimer’s pads with a backhand shot.
The Flames had a great chance to go up by three when Gaudreau was awarded a penalty shot at 14:59 of the second after being hooked from behind by Brent Burns. But Gaudreau was thwarted on a great glove stop by Reimer.
Less than three minutes later, the Sharks cut the deficit to one when Meier got the puck in the corner, spun, and whipped a shot from a sharp angle off Markstrom and in for his team-leading 27th goal.
Calgary got off to a fast start, striking 4:17 into the game on their first power play.
Tkachuk sent a diagonal pass from the left point to the right faceoff circle that Gaudreau stopped with his skate, kicked to his stick, and fired under the crossbar.
The Flames surged in front 2-0 at 8:16 when Dube beat Reimer from the slot. Tkachuk assisted.
San Jose got one back 14:54 into the game on an unassisted goal from Vlasic, who kept the puck in at the blue line and flung a wrist shot that appeared to catch Markstrom by surprise.
NOTES: The Sharks were without injured forwards Jonathan Dahlen and Matt Nieto, who are considered day to day. … Newly acquired San Jose goalie Kaapo Kahkonen backed up Reimer. … Flames trade deadline acquisition center Ryan Carpenter did not dress after arriving in Calgary on Tuesday.
San Jose: At Edmonton on Thursday to complete a two-game trip.
Calgary: Host Arizona on Friday in the second game of a six-game homestand.
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