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Kuzmenko scores in OT to lift Flames to 3-2 win over Sharks

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Andrei Kuzmenko scored a power-play goal 2:58 into overtime and the Calgary Flames came back to beat the San Jose Sharks 3-2 on Tuesday night.

Kuzmenko put in the puck off a scramble in front for the Flames, who had lost three straight and eight of nine. Rasmus Andersson and Nazem Kadri also scored for Calgary, which converted two of its three power-play opportunities.

“We’re scoring goals, and they’re crucial goals in these hockey games,” Kadri said. “As a group, I think we take pride in trying to give our group a boost of energy.

“When things aren’t going too well, we’re accountable with one another. I think that’s important. When you’re playing with confidence, obviously it’s a lot smoother.”

William Eklund and Jacob MacDonald had the goals for San Jose.

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The last-place Sharks have dropped four of five. San Jose would clinch the worst record in the NHL and have a 25.5 per cent chance of winning the top pick in the draft lottery if Chicago wins at St. Louis on Wednesday.

“We just cheated the game,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “I thought in the second and third, we were wanting it to be easy. We were hoping that things were going to happen instead of approaching the game the honest way and the right way.

“I thought we were fortunate to get into overtime.”

Flames goaltender Dustin Wolf, starting against his hometown team, made 20 saves. The 22-year-old Gilroy native had family in attendance, including his grandmother, who got to see him play in the NHL for the first time.

“Coming from a small town, and playing against your hometown team, is something you obviously dream of, and pretty cool,” Wolf said.

Calgary coach Ryan Huska said the Flames knew it was an important night for Wolf.

“I thought when he had to make some saves, he did a good job,” Huska said. “And he looked calm and composed.”

Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 38 shots for the Sharks.

Eklund scored on a backhand after a lead pass from Fabian Zetterlund to give the Sharks a 1-0 lead after one period. Eklund, who had a hat trick on Saturday, has points in 10 of his last 11 home games.

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MacDonald scored early in the second to double the San Jose lead, but Calgary responded with goals by Andersson at even strength and Kadri on the power play to tie the game going into the third.

Kadri said the Flames had a “below-average first period.”

“For the next 40 (minutes), we dominated,” he said. “I think we deserved that one.”

Sharks forward Filip Zadina missed the game with a lower-body injury.

Up next

Flames: Visit the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

Sharks: Visit the Seattle Kraken on Thursday.

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