A furiously fast-paced game, and a crazy rally by the Wild falls short in San Jose. The Minnesota Wild skated with a Cup contender all night long, but a goal by Barclay Goodrow after the Wild evened the score in the third period did the Wild in for good.
The first period was about as good as the Wild could hope for. With Eric Staal a late scratch due to illness, they put up eight shots while holding the Sharks to just two shots in the frame. Minnesota missed on a couple key chances early to score. On the other end, Marcus Sorensen got the Sharks on the board first. The Sharks move the puck all over the ice as good, or better, than any team in the NHL, and it was a passing play that ended with Sorensen catching the alley-oop pass from Brent Burns.
OK, so the Wild gave of the early lead, but all was not lost. Minnesota went into the first intermission likely feeling good about its game despite the 1-0 deficit.
The Sharks got going in the second period. They hurled 12 shots on to Devan Dubnyk to pull away on the score board. First, Sorensen back away from Nick Seeler into a defensive soft spot and fired a shot that actually went off of Joe Thornton before finding twine behind Dubnyk.
The Wild power play looked to finally move forward in Edmonton, but couldn’t find the net in St. Louis. The Sharks had a streak of something like 26 straight penalties killed, but Minnesota and Zach Parise snapped that whole thing. Parise pass the puck into the slot to Nino Niederreiter, who didn’t get all of the shot. Jones made the initial save, but there was Parise, sneaking into the crease from below the goal line to put home the rebound. It was his 100th career power play goal.
Just as Minnesota got back into the game, a glaring mistake allowed the Sharks to put the deficit back to two goals with just over 2 minutes left in the second. Jonas Brodin was a little too aggressive on the forecheck, which was only exacerbated by the Wild in the midst of a line change. Greg Pateryn quickly moved to his right to cover Sorensen at the Wild line, but there was Antti Suomela open for an easy area pass to go in alone on Dubnyk. Suomela scored bar-down over Dubnyk’s glove.
The Wild left the ice for the second intermission down by two goals and a 19-14 shot advantage.
Just under 90 seconds into the period, Jared Spurgeon captured and settled a clearing attempt by the Sharks. He fired a wrister that avoided a prone Shark shot blocker, and beat Jones to the blocker side. Almost 2 minutes after, the puck got worked over to Matt Dumba just inside the San Jose line. With a clear lane, Dumba took the space the Sharks gave him a ripped a Howitzer from the top of the right circle that Jones had zero chance on.
With the score now knotted up at 3 goals a side, Dubnyk had to be extra sharp when Evander Kane blew by Dumba and got in alone. The save kept the score tied, but not for long. Barclay Goodrow got a piece of a Brent Burns shot that broke the tie. Minnesota couldn’t muster any shots on goal the last 6 minutes of the game. Though the Wild did have some close calls, the puck never ended up on net. No, the Wild couldn’t find the equalizer as the game ended.
Sorensen finished with a goal and two assists. Spurgeon and Dumba add to the point totals that have the Wild D corps ranked 2nd in terms of offensive production. Erik Karlsson still does not have a goal this season, and neither does Nino Niederreiter. Mikael Granlund’s point streaks also came to a close in the loss..