SAN JOSE, Calif. — Evander Kane has done a good job tormenting the Calgary Flames with his goal-scoring prowess and physical play.
Kane scored twice to give him six goals in his past two games against Calgary and got into two scrums as the San Jose Sharks won their seventh straight game, beating the Flames 5-1 on Saturday.
"I’m not a guy to shy away from the physical part of the game," Kane said. "That’s a big part of hockey in my mind and a lot of people’s. You don’t see fighting as much anymore. But at the same time I think it’s very necessary and sometimes it calls for it."
Kane followed up his four-goal effort in Calgary a week ago with another impactful performance, scoring a short-handed goal in the second period to give the Sharks a 3-1 lead and an insurance goal in the third. He also used his physical play to get into a scrum with Mikael Backlund and a fight with Travis Hamonic.
The Sharks improved to 10-2 since acquiring Kane just before the trade deadline last month, including this current streak that is the longest for San Jose since a seven-gamer from March 25 to April 5, 2013.
"This is the time of year you want to be playing well, you want to get hot," coach Peter DeBoer said. "For me it’s about our game. The results are nice, the wins are nice. Out of the seven games this was probably the sloppiest of the seven but we found a way to win."
Brenden Dillon, Jannik Hansen and Justin Braun also scored for the Sharks, who moved six points ahead of Los Angeles in the race for home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Kings played later Saturday in Edmonton. Martin Jones made 37 saves.
Michael Stone scored the lone for the Flames, who have lost five straight to fall out of the playoff race. Calgary trails Anaheim by nine points for the final playoff spot with just six games remaining. David Rittich made 28 saves.
The Flames have been outscored 25-7 during the skid despite outshooting the opponent each game.
"It seems like we’re leading the NHL in moral victories but it’s not getting us any points right now," forward Troy Brouwer said. "It resulted in another loss where we actually had really good stretches during the game but ultimately no results."
The Flames were controlling the play in the second period before Kane’s goal turned the momentum back in San Jose’s favour. Calgary held San Jose without a shot on goal for more than six minutes to start the period and had just started a power play when Kane struck for his goal.
Chris Tierney skated into the offensive zone and held the puck near the net as Johnny Gaudreau skated past Kane, who was set up in front of the crease. Tierney then slid a pass to Kane, who knocked it into the open net for his sixth goal with the Sharks and 26th on the season.
Kane then had his run-ins with the Flames late in the second and early in the third before the Sharks broke it open with goals from Braun and Kane midway through the third period.
Dillon, who assisted on Kane’s second goal, then got into a fight late in the game with Garnet Hathaway to complete the Gordie Howe hat trick.
The Sharks started fast and scored twice in a span of 74 seconds midway through the first period with goals by Dillon and Hansen.
The Flames got one back with a blast from the point through traffic by Stone.
NOTES: The Sharks honoured Jonathan Cheechoo, who recently announced his retirement. … Brent Burns’ assist on Hansen’s goal was his 49th of the season, breaking the record he set two years ago for Sharks defencemen. … Flames F Matthew Tkachuk (upper body) and D TJ Brodie did not make the trip for the two games in California.
Flames: Visit Los Angeles on Monday
Sharks: Visit Chicago on Monday.