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Logan Couture leads San Jose Sharks in 3-2 victory over Calgary Flames

12/07/2014 12:53 EST | Updated 02/05/2015 05:59 EST
CALGARY - A fine display of hand-eye co-ordination from Patrick Marleau was the difference on Saturday night.

Marleau's goal on a unique play halfway through the third period stood up as the game-winner as the San Jose Sharks edged the Calgary Flames 3-2.

From behind the net, Logan Couture's centring attempt deflected off the stick of Flames defenceman Mark Giordano and went high into the air, sailed over top of the Calgary net and came down nearly on top of Marleau, who bumped it with his arm and then batted the puck out of mid-air past Karri Ramo.

"We were able to get our forecheck finally going in the third. Tommy Wingels and Couture both got in there and I kind of juggled it in front and I was able to bat it in," said Marleau.

The Sharks have won four straight on the heels of a 2-0 shutout loss at home to the Flames on Nov. 26.

"Lucky bounces. Something that has been few and far between for us so far so it's good to get one," said Couture, who also scored his 11th goal.

Re-united as a line after that November loss to the Flames, Couture, Marleau and Wingels have been on fire with 20 combined points during the past four games.

"We've played together on and off for a while now. But Tommy and Couture, they're both so sound in their positional play, it's easy to play with them," said Marleau.

Justin Braun also scored for San Jose (14-10-4), which plays in Edmonton on Sunday night. Wingels chipped in with a pair of assists giving him nine points (three goals, six assists) during a four-game point streak.

Giordano and Johnny Gaudreau replied for Calgary (17-9-2), which had its four-game winning streak snapped. The Flames open up a four-game road trip Tuesday in Toronto.

"They didn't make that many (mistakes) so we did take advantage of the few, found a way to beat a hot goaltender, found a way to get ourselves back into the game," said Sharks head coach Todd McLellan. "Our first period was not anywhere near where it needed to be but we chatted a little bit between periods and responded well so it's a good sign for us."

Couture said that "chat," as McLellan put it, was a mild way to describe it.

"If you were close to the room you could probably hear him screaming," Couture said. "We knew in this room it was a pretty pathetic period by this group. It was nice to see us rebound and come out strong in the second."

The Flames outshot San Jose 35-30 but mistakes on the first two goals cost them.

"I felt that we played a real good game, but on their goals, we made some major mistakes and they're a team that they're so talented that they were very opportunistic and they got the game from us," said Flames coach Bob Hartley.

The Sharks had a 1:29 two-man advantage inside the game's final five minutes but were unable to take advantage. With the Scotiabank Saddledome crowd buzzing, Calgary then went on the attack and eventually got a power play of their own with 1:19 left.

But the Flames, who have made third-period comebacks their specialty all year, could not tie it this time despite pouring on the pressure by pulling Ramo to make it a 6-on-4 situation.

The Flames led 1-0 after the first period but the lead evaporated on goals two minutes apart by San Jose to open up the second.

At 0:33, Kris Russell's attempt to clear the puck around the boards hit Wingels in the shin and caromed sharply into the slot to Braun, who quickly sent a backhand past Ramo.

Then Flames defenceman Raphael Diaz whiffed on his attempt to clear away the puck, enabling Couture to steal it and dart to the net where he rang a backhand off the far goal post.

"You give up two quick goals, after we played such a good first period, the momentum changes a bit," said Flames centre Matt Stajan. "We've got to clean it up a bit at the start of periods. We can't let the other team take it to us like they did there."

Calgary eventually tied it on Gaudreau's fifth goal at 17:49 of the second but they were not able to regain the lead. It's the first time all season the Flames have lost in a game in which they led after the first period (4-1-0).

"It's one of those things where we've been down quite a bit lately and we've got to find a way to get a lead and hold onto it at the end of the game. You can't always come back from a one or two goal deficit," said Flames defenceman T.J. Brodie.

Calgary took a 1-0 lead to the first intermission thanks to a blast off the stick of Giordano at 17:32.

It was the ninth goal and 28th point of the season for the Flames captain, who leads all NHL defencemen in scoring.

Ramo had his six-game winning streak snapped to fall to 8-3-1. He made 27 saves.

Niemi had 33 stops to improve to 11-7-3.

Notes: Stajan (knee) returned to Calgary's line-up after missing 16 games. Also playing was Brian McGrattan, a healthy scratch the past seven games. Scratched forwards were Brandon Bollig and Sven Baertschi. ... San Jose's Matt Nieto (undisclosed injury) did not play. Barclay Goodrow took his spot. ... John Scott's assist on Couture's goal was his first assist in 120 games. His last assist was Dec. 16, 2011. ... The Flames are 6-7-0 when trailing after two periods. The team record for comeback wins is seven, which has been done twice — last in 1987-88.

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