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Sharks open season with 4-1 win over Flames

  • San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31), of Finland, watches the puck as Calgary Flames' Lee Stempniak swats at it during the third period of an NHL hockey game, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, in Calgary, Alberta. The Sharks won 4-1. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jeff McIntosh)

CALGARY, Alberta — Patrick Marleau was in midseason form for the San Jose Sharks in their lockout-shortened season opener Sunday.

The Sharks center scored twice in the second period as San Jose defeated the Calgary Flames 4-1.

The 33-year-old has scored 30 or more goals in four consecutive seasons and has six overall in his career.

"You don't normally get your first goal in January," Marleau said. "It was great to be back, even though it was their home opener. Just to be in the rink and have fans cheering was something special."

Martin Havlat and defenseman Dan Boyle also scored for the Sharks, who spoiled the debut of new Flames coach Bob Hartley. Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski each added a pair of assists for San Jose.

Antti Niemi made 31 saves to get the win. Calgary's Miikka Kiprusoff, playing in his 600th career game, made 25 saves.

Lee Stempniak's power-play goal in the first period was all the offense for Calgary.

The Flames outplayed San Jose in the opening period with a 16-9 edge in shots, a couple of chances that went off the post and a Mikael Backlund breakaway foiled by Niemi.

San Jose recovered to outshoot the Flames 14-4 in the second period and took advantage of a loose defense around Kiprusoff to score three times from close range.

"That first period was a little bit of a shock, but after that the guys fell into it and you get into a rhythm," Marleau said. "It's going to be a learning curve, a little bit of rust for all teams.


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