- Associated Press - Saturday, March 17, 2018

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - It took Evander Kane until his 565th game to get his first NHL hat trick.

Then he added another goal for good measure.

Kane scored four times to lead the San Jose Sharks past the Calgary Flames 7-4 on Friday night, a huge performance by a player who was acquired at the Feb. 26 trade deadline.

“It’s nice to get that monkey off my back,” said Kane, sent from Buffalo to San Jose for forward Danny O’Regan and draft picks. “It’s been a long time since I’ve scored a hat trick. That was great. It made it even better, obviously, in a big game, an important game.”

Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three straight and four of five. Kevin Lebanc and Eric Fehr also scored, and Martin Jones made 30 saves.

San Jose is second in the Pacific Division, three points in front of Los Angeles and Anaheim.

Joe Pavelski, who set up Kane’s fourth goal 62 seconds into the third period, was happy to see his new teammate come through in the clutch.

“It’s always a special night when someone can score three, and for him to get that fourth is pretty cool to see,” Pavelski said. “He’s definitely made a huge impact on us as a team and on his teammates. He’s been one of the guys driving the bus here for the last week or two. He came through big for us tonight.”

Micheal Ferland had a goal and an assist for the Flames, who are four points out of a playoff spot. Troy Brouwer, Mark Jankowski and Johnny Gaudreau also scored for Calgary.

“We had a few leads in the second and those are times when you want to put your foot on the pedal and get the next one,” forward Mark Stajan said. “We weren’t able to do that.”

Three nights after stopping all 28 shots he faced against the Oilers, Calgary goalie Mike Smith had a rough outing as he made just 14 saves before being replaced by David Rittich early in the third period. Rittich went on to stop all seven shots he faced in a relief appearance.

“Terrible,” Smith said when asked to describe his performance. “It was one of those nights where pucks were hitting things, going in. A couple bad breaks there. It was definitely an off night and a tough one to swallow right now.”

The Sharks opened the scoring six minutes into the first period when Kane’s wrist shot beat Smith to the glove side.

The Flames pulled even at 16:42 when Brouwer chipped a pass from Curtis Lazar into the top corner behind Jones.

Jankowski took a pass from linemate Garnet Hathaway and wired a shot to the top corner, glove side behind Jones to put Calgary up 2-1 at 2:10 of the second.

Kane then redirected Brenden Dillon’s point shot past Smith at 6:29 before Gaudreau cut into the slot and snapped a shot past Jones at 10:16 to put Calgary back up by a goal.

That lead lasted just 1:26 as Lebanc fired a shot from a sharp angle into the top corner past Smith to pull the Sharks into a 3-all tie.

Kane completed his hat trick at 16:32 when he swatted in his own rebound. Hertl poked the puck through Smith’s legs with 1:58 remaining before the second intermission.

“I thought we had some good energy, especially after Johnny scored there,” said Calgary captain Mark Giordano, who was disappointed the Flames weren’t able to hold the lead. “We didn’t do a good job of stopping them. They came in pretty easy there and got the puck in our net.”

The Sharks added an insurance goal when Kane redirected a pass from Pavelski past Smith.

Ferland backhanded a shot past Jones to pull Calgary within two goals with 5:35 left in regulation and Rittich on the bench for an extra attacker. Fehr rounded out the scoring with an empty-net goal 1:37 later.

NOTES: Jankowski suited up for the Flames after sitting out Tuesday’s 1-0 win over Edmonton. Fellow forward Kris Versteeg returned to Calgary’s lineup after missing the past 49 games with a hip injury. … Gaudreau extended his point streak to six games (three goals, five assists).

UP NEXT

Sharks: At the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday night.

Flames: At the Vegas Golden Knights on Sunday.

___

For more NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/NHLhockey


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