Selanne scored his 24th and 25th goals in a 12-minute span of the third period as San Jose tallied three times to break open a 2-0 game. Selanne has 56 points in 40 career games against the Flames.
The Sharks were just 2-7 in their previous nine games overall but put together a complete effort against Calgary. Nabokov carried a shutout into the final five minutes and Matt Bradley, Owen Nolan and Vincent Damphousse scored for San Jose, which is 8-2-3-1 in its last 14 games against Calgary.
San Jose, which has won back-to-back games, is 10 points behind Edmonton for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
“Two wins in a row - that’s a good start now,” Selanne said. “We know it’s going to be a tough job for us but at the same time in this league you never know what’s going to happen. We have so many games in a short time … If you get good momentum going you can have a lot of success in this league and we want to give ourselves a good shot for us. I think this team is on the right track. Everybody is doing their job and we are playing with a little more confidence, so that helps also.”
“We have to go game to game, keep going and see what happens,” Sharks left wing Marco Sturm said. “It’s not over, not officially over, so we still have a chance and you have to go step by step.”
“It was neat to see the fans and it’s just kinda odd standing on the other side, that’s all,” said Flames coach Darryl Sutter, who was fired by the Sharks on December 1. “You know the guys good enough when they’re on top (of their game) and when they’re not. I thought Nabby was really, really good.”
The Sharks broke on top on Bradley’s second goal. Mike Rathje hit Bradley with a long pass just inside the offensive zone and the Sharks’ right wing put a shot on net that fluttered over the glove hand of Calgary goaltender Roman Turek.
Bradley’s second goal of the season was his first since January 27.
Nolan made it 2-0 just over 11 minutes into the second period, scoring on the power play. With Calgary’s Bob Boughner in the penalty box for holding Selanne, Nolan ripped a slap shot from the left circle that sailed through traffic and beat Turek to the glove side.
“It was a nice shot by Owen, but it was a great play by Marco Sturm, who created a screen in front of the goalie, and it’s nice when your power play can contribute a big goal like that,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said.
Selanne made it 3-0 6:16 into the third period. Rookie Niko Dimitrakos beat Calgary’s Jarome Iginla to a loose puck, carried it into the offensive end and put a shot on net that Turek stopped. But the rebound came right to Selanne, who went forehand-backhand and stuffed the puck into an empty net.
Damphousse extended San Jose’s lead with a power-play tally with 5:11 left in regulation. Again the Sharks pounced on a rebound. Turek made a nice initial save off a deflection in front but the rebound came to Damphousse, who wristed the puck into the vacated net for his 18th goal.
San Jose was 2-for-5 on the power play.
Lowry backhanded home his own rebound with 4:32 left to spoil Nabokov’s shutout bid and end his scoreless string at 145:01.
But Selanne quickly regained momentum for the Sharks, scoring on a breakaway just under two minutes later for a 5-1 lead.
A poor poke check by Nabokov led to Nichol’s goal with 1:52 to go.
“We never even gave them a chance to get back into the game until near the end,” Wilson added. “Things got a little sloppy, for both teams, but all in all I was really pleased with our play.”
The Flames, who had just one power-play opportunity, are 0-25-1-1 this season when trailing after two periods.
“They were up 2-0 going into the third and they kinda … bang, bang,” Iginla said. “The difference was the power play, I think they had two goals on the power play. We had two power plays ourselves and we didn’t get anything out of it. Specialty teams are so important and they were able to beat us in that to take the momentum. We felt we were getting a few shots, a few chances. They were able to get some power-play goals.”