CALGARY, Alberta -- To say Blake Comeau was in a scoring slump would be an understatement.
Despite generating all kinds of chances for himself, the Calgary Flames forward had yet to light the lamp this season and had failed to score in 24 games dating to the 2011-12 campaign.
In fact, the former 24-goal scorer from a few seasons ago had just one tally in his last 40 games.
All of that was forgotten midway through the third period of Calgary's 4-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday night when the oft-maligned player netted the winning goal early in the third period by ripping a shot past goaltender Thomas Greiss as he went down the wing, electing to shoot on a two-on-one rush.
"I'd been lying if I said I didn't think about it a lot," Comeau said of his struggles. "If we lose a game and I score, I don't think it's the same feeling. I want to be a contributor. I want to be a guy that helps the team win.
"So if I get a goal and we lose the game, it's nothing special to me. It feels a lot better to be able to get a goal and help the team win."
Comeau's sense of relief could be felt throughout the Scotiabank Saddledome.
"That was an NHL shot, coming down the wing, inside post," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "It couldn't happen to a better guy at a better time. He was squeezing that graphite stick, the juice was coming out."
Comeau's goal wasn't the only positive thing the Flames and their fans had not seen for a long time.
Goalie Miikka Kiprusoff made a triumphant return to action after missing four weeks due to a sprained knee ligament suffered Feb. 5. He stopped 32 shots for his 300th victory as a Flame.
By the usual standards against the Sharks, it was actually a light night's work. Almost one-third of the shots Kiprusoff faced came in the final nine minutes with his team up by a pair of tallies.
"We played a very strong game. The first two (periods), if you look, we didn't give up too many scoring chances," Kiprusoff said. "I was quite happy with that, to be honest with you. You know against a team like that somebody is going to get shots through. We were able to play smart and you know they're going to open up and get some chances in the third and like I said, nice game."
Also scoring for the Flames (9-8-4) was Roman Cervenka, captain Jarome Iginla -- his sixth goal in five outings -- and Curtis Glencross, with a shorthanded empty netter in the final minute.
Joe Thornton replied for the Sharks (11-7-4), who had won three of four games going into the affair but have struggled since they opened the season with seven straight wins.
Their offense has gone dry for the past five weeks.
"We've scored one or two goals the last 12 games. That's it," fumed Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle. "There's a lot of things that go into that, but that's it."
The Sharks remain in the top eight of the Western Conference, but their swoon has all kinds of teams now within a point of two of them.
"We're disappointed," coach Todd McLellan said. "We're 1-1, we have an opportunity to win one in the third period and we didn't play very well in the third period so we're disappointed. Is it a step backward? I guess the answer is yes."
NOTES: To make room for Kiprusoff's return, the Flames sent goalie Danny Taylor to the Abbotsford Heat of the American Hockey League. ... While Kiprusoff was injured, the Flames posted a 6-5-2 record. ... The Sharks have scored more than two goals in only one of their last 17 games, and that was a 5-3 loss. The Sharks, who have four 3-2 shootout wins in that span (shootout goals don't count in the goals-for category), scored four or more goals in all of their first five outings. ... With the Sharks' victory Tuesday night in Vancouver, McLellan tied Ron Wilson for the most wins in franchise history (206). ... Marleau went into the game needing one more goal for 400 in his career. ... Calgary's win marks the first time this season the Flames have surpassed the .500 mark.