Sharks celebrate Patrick Marleau’s homecoming with Flame-filled feast

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Timo Meier, centre, of the Sharks celebrates a goal with teammates Brent Burns, left, and Logan Couture during San Jose’s 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

Less than a week after rejoining his former team, Patrick Marleau is already making a big impact.

Tomas Hertl had a goal and an assist to help the San Jose Sharks beat the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Sunday night.

Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc also scored as San Jose won their second straight after an 0-4-0 start. Logan Couture had two assists and Patrick Marleau had one in his first home game since rejoining the Sharks. Martin Jones stopped 32 shots after posting a 4.55 goals-against average while losing his first three starts.

“I don’t think it’s an accident that we’ve won the last two and he’s been in the lineup,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said of Marleau’s return. “He just plays the right way. He does the right thing when he’s out on the ice all the time. It’s really helped solidify our lineup a little bit.”

The 40-year-old Marleau spent the first 19 seasons of his career in San Jose and ranks first in franchise history in points (1,085) and goals (509), among other categories. After two seasons with Toronto he was traded to Carolina during the summer and then had his contract bought out.

“He’s 40 but he’s still flying,” Hertl said. “He’s a huge part now of the team and we’re happy to have him here.”

WATCH | Sharks’ Kevin Labanc burns Flames:

Kevin Labanc speeds his way to San Jose’s second goal in their 3-1 victory over the Flames at home. 0:51

Marleau signed a one-year deal to return to San Jose on Oct. 9 and scored two goals in his first game back to lead the Sharks to their first win of the season the next day. He has totalled five points in two games and infused energy to what was a downtrodden team.

“You lose four in a row and there’s not many smiles at the rink,” Couture said. “You really don’t want to go to the rink to be honest, you want to stay away. But Patty was there, and everybody was happy to see him and that showed in our game.”

2nd straight loss for Flames

Elias Lindholm scored for Calgary, which has lost two straight and three of its last four. The Flames were playing their third road game in four days and second in two days.

Marleau and Couture each had an assist on Meier’s first goal of the season just over three minutes into the game.

Labanc scored midway through the first to give San Jose a 2-0 lead. Erik Karlsson and Tomas Hertl assisted on Labanc’s second goal of the season.

The Flames scored at 6:43 of the second period, when Lindholm redirected T.J. Brodie’s shot off a face off.

San Jose extended its lead to 3-1 when Hertl scored San Jose’s first short-handed goal of the season with 1:45 left in the second period.

Cam Talbot had 17 saves in his Calgary debut. The 31-year-old, signed a one-year free agent contract with the Flames in the off-season after splitting time last season between Edmonton and Philadelphia.

Patrick Marleau played his first home game for the Sharks after returning to the club on a one-year deal. The 40-year-old originally joined the Sharks as the No. 2 overall pick in 1997. (Jeff Chiu/Associated Press)

“Cam was good. No issue there,” Flames coach Bill Peters said. “I thought he moved the puck well when he had his goalie touches.”

The Flames were 0 for 4 on power plays.

“Although we didn’t show it, we’re the better team,” Flames centre Mikael Backlund said. “We put pressure on them all night. Our power play has to be better . We’ll get better from this game.”

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