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Sharks drop Flames 4-1 as road favorites

CALGARY, Alberta (AP) - Patrick Marleau scored a pair of goals Sunday to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-1 win over the Calgary Flames in the season-opener for both teams.

Martin Havlat and defenseman Dan Boyle also scored for the Sharks during a three-goal second period.

Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski each had a pair of assists.

Lee Stempniak scored for Calgary, which led 1-0 after the opening period.

With the victory, the Sharks spoiled the debut of new Flames coach Bob Hartley.

As other NHL teams have done at home openers to soothe hurt fan feelings after the lockout, the Flames discounted food, drink and merchandise Sunday. The stores at the Saddledome were doing a brisk business 90 minutes prior to the game.

San Jose goaltender Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the win. Miikka Kiprusoff, playing his 600th career game, stopped 25 of 29 shots for Calgary.

Boyle scored on a two-man advantage with a minute remaining in the game.

Marleau scored his team's first and third goals in the second period. San Jose took advantage of Calgary's defense around Kiprusoff to score its three second-period goals from close range.

Marleau took a pass from Boyle and paused to make Kiprusoff stretch before making it 3-1 at 18:10. Kiprusoff lost control of a save off his chest and Havlat banged the loose puck in at 15:05.

Marleau tied the game at 13:52 with a power-play goal. Stempniak scored a power-play goal at 12:21 of the first period for Calgary's first goal of the season.

The Flames were without offseason acquisitions Jiri Hudler and Roman Cervenka on Sunday. Hudler attended his father's funeral in the Czech Republic on Friday.

Cervenka, another Czech forward, has yet to be cleared to play because of anti-coagulant medication he took following the discovery of blood clots.

Sharks defenseman Brent Burns was out of the Sharks lineup with a lower-body injury. Forward Scott Gomez, recently bought out of his contract by the Montreal Canadiens, skated with the Sharks during their optional pre-game skate Sunday.

Notes: Calgary hosts the Anaheim Ducks on Monday before heading to Vancouver on Wednesday for three games in four nights to start the lockout-shortened season. ... San Jose is in Edmonton on Tuesday to face the Oilers. The Sharks don't play their home opener until Thursday against Phoenix.

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
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