Less than a week after rejoining his former team, Patrick Marleau is already making a big impact.
Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist to help the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Sunday night.
Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc also scored as San Jose won their second straight after an 0-4-0 start. Logan Couture had two assists and Patrick Marleau had one in his first home game since rejoining the Sharks. Martin Jones stopped 32 shots after posting a 4.55 goals-against average while losing his first three starts.
“I don’t think it’s an accident that we’ve won the last two and he’s been in the lineup,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Marleau’s return. “He just plays the right way. He does the right thing when he’s out on the ice all the time. It’s really helped solidify our lineup a little bit.”
The 40-year-old Marleau spent the first 19 seasons of his career in San Jose and ranks first in franchise history in points (1,085) and goals (509), among other categories. After two seasons with Toronto he was traded to Carolina during the summer and then had his contract bought out.
“He’s 40 but he’s still flying,” Hertl said. “He’s a huge part now of the team and we’re happy to have him here.”
Marleau signed a one-year deal to return to San Jose on Oct. 9 and scored two goals in his first game back to lead the Sharks to their first win of the season the next day. He has totaled five points in two games and infused energy to what was a downtrodden team.
“You lose four in a row and there’s not many smiles at the rink,” Couture said. “You really don’t want to go to the rink to be honest, you want to stay away. But Patty was there, and everybody was happy to see him and that showed in our game.”
Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary, which has lost two straight and three of its last four. The Flames were playing their third road game in four days and second in two days.
Marleau and Couture each had an assist on Meier’s first goal of the season just over three minutes into the game.
Labanc scored midway through the first to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl assisted on Labanc’s second goal of the season.
The Flames scored at 6:43 of the second period, when Lindholm redirected T.J. Brodie’s shot off a face off.
San Jose extended its lead to 3-1 when Hertl scored San Jose’s first short-handed goal of the season with 1:45 left in the second period.
Cam Talbot had 17 saves in his Calgary debut. The 31-year-old, signed a one-year free agent contract with the Flames in the offseason after splitting time last season between Edmonton and Philadelphia.
“Cam was good. No issue there,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “I thought he moved the puck well when he had his goalie touches.”
The Flames were 0 for 4 on power plays.
“Although we didn’t show it, we’re the better team,” Flames center Mikael Backlund said. “We put pressure on them all night. Our power play has to be better . We’ll get better from this game.”
NOTES: Flames D Oliver Kylington and C Austin Czarnik were back in the lineup after sitting out Saturday’s game against Vegas. … Calgary F Johnny Gaudreau played in his 400th game. . San Jose is 8-2-0 in the last 10 meetings with Calgary. … Sharks D Jacob Middleton (upper body ) was placed on injured reserve on Saturday. San Jose coach Pete DeBoer said he’s expected to miss about 4-6 weeks. … C Couture extended his points streak to four games with one goal and four assists over that stretch. … Marleau is among just eight NHL players who’ve scored goals with the same team in their teens and in their 40’s. That group includes Hall-of-Famers Gordie Howe, Mario Lemieux, Steve Yzerman and Brendan Shanahan. He was 18 when he scored his first NHL goal.
Flames: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Sharks: Host Carolina on Wednesday night.
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