SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Coach Todd McLellan lit into the San Jose Sharks after a lackluster second period against a struggling team staggering to the finish of the season.
He got just the response he was looking for as the Sharks extended the NHL's longest current winning streak.
Dan Boyle tied the game early in the third period and Joe Pavelski provided the game-winner with 2:06 remaining to lead the Sharks to their second seven-game winning streak of the season with a 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Friday night.
"We tried to cheat the game a little bit and it wasn't going to work that way," McLellan said. "We talked about it. I was happy the way they responded. That's a good sign. It was a hard fought third just to come out with the points."
Antti Niemi made 23 saves for the Sharks, including one in the closing seconds against Michael Cammalleri as San Jose matched its winning streak to open the season. San Jose remained perfect through six games of a seven-game homestand and has moved from ninth place to fourth in the Western Conference during this streak.
"I think we're just playing really aggressive, real hard," captain Joe Thornton said. "Tonight wasn't too pretty, but I thought we carried the play for most of the game, but eventually we wore them down."
Mikael Backlund scored and Miikka Kiprusoff made 39 saves for the Flames, who have lost 12 straight road games.
The Flames are reeling, having traded two of their top players before this week's deadline with captain Jarome Iginla going to Pittsburgh and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester being sent to St. Louis. But they still nearly ended the longest current winning streak in the NHL.
"I was proud of the way guys stepped up," coach Bob Hartley said. "Everyone worked hard. It's too bad they got the winning goal in the end. I thought we deserved better. But we turned the puck over, and the puck goes in the net."
Calgary took a 1-0 lead into the third period and even killed off an early power play before allowing the tying goal. Logan Couture, who hit the crossbar earlier on the shift, fed Boyle whose shot deflected off defenseman Dennis Wideman and into the net for his seventh goal of the season. It was just the second at even strength.