The Wild were told to have a short memory and throw the 7-1 loss at the hands of the Stars in the garbage. So when the news came down that Minnesota would be without one of their leaders in Zach Parise, who decided to be with his father and family as J.P. Parise battles lung cancer, the Wild were hoping for an inspired effort.
Behind two goals and one assist for Jason Zucker, Minnesota was able to force overtime, but eventually fell 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks. Marc-Edouard Vlasic won the game with a hard slap shot from the top of the left face off circle that beat Darcy Kuemper over his right shoulder.
Minnesota showed some life and some action in the first period. After not a lot happening, a couple power plays got the shot counter moving. After a missed icing call by the linesman, Alex Stalock, forced to play the puck, gave it up to Jason Zucker for an easy tally. After seeing the replay, the linesman missed an obvious icing call, but immediately waved it off, which should give even a surprised Sharks team time to make a good play. Stalock didn't and it cost him. Zucker wasn't done as he chased the puck around the Sharks net and found Jared Spurgeon pinching down to the bottom of the faceoff dot for the Wild's second goal.
The Wild started the second period with a nice effort looking to capitalize on their two-goal first period. Then just after the halfway point of the game, Melker Karlsson got the benefit of a funky carom off the stanchion and found himself all alone on Kuemper.
Heading into the third period, the Wild should have expected the Sharks to come out hungry for the win. Joe Pavelski tied the game with a seeing-eye wrist shot through a few bodies and over Kuemper's shoulder. Pavelski got the puck immediately off of a face off after a Wild icing infraction. Tommy Wingels, whom I always want to call Troy Wingels because he seems like a Troy to me, gave the Sharks the lead. A James Sheppard shot bounced and changed direction off Jonas Brodin. Kuemper was able to get a pad on the initial shot, but sent the rebound right back out into the slot where Wingels was battling through Brodin.
3-2 and a listless Wild team.
But the guy that was elevated to the top line in Parise's absence, and the only one to provide any offense for the Wild, Jason Zucker would get his second goal of the night. it was a nice pass from Charlie Coyle to Zucker who beat his man, Justin Braun, to the front of the net. It was Zucker's first career 3-point game, and his 4th multi-point game of his still young career.
To overtime we go.
Thomas Vanek got a shot and so did Zucker. It was Vanek's 5th and Zucker's 8th shot on goal of the night.
But Marc-Edouard "Pickles" Vlasic, Mr. "I seperated Dany Healtey's shoulder so the Wild couldn't buy him out and keep Matt Cullen and bought out Tom Gilbert instead," scored the game winner for the Sharks on a shot that absolutely needed to be stopped.
It was yet another game where the Wild lacked the killer instinct and couldn't finish a team off in which they had a lead over going into the final stanza.