Hoping to salvage a home stand, the Wild ran into an absolute buzz saw named the San Jose Sharks. With a 6-1 record in their last 7 games, the Sharks definitely had their game firing on all cylinders by blanking the Wild 4-0 in St. Paul. Logan Couture scored twice, Joe Pavelski got one, and something called Lukas Radil finished the night off as the Wild still have issues with having losses snowball.
The first period was the best period for the Wild all game. Staal hit the post after the puck glanced off Jones early. Jordan Greenway couldn't bury a chance shortly there after. Jones looked square to the puck and very solid in net all game. That said, the Wild did carry the play early in the game, ending the period with an 8-5 lead in shots on goal, without having the benefit of a power play.
The second period started like the first. Minnesota had a couple chances early, including a shot where Martin Jones lost sight of the puck. Jonas Brodin hustled to the loose puck, but made a divot rather than making solid contact and the puck never made it into the gaping net.
Melker Karlsson pressured on a puck deep in the Wild zone. He won the battle and centered a pass to Logan Couture, who found room in the low slot to beat Devan Dubnyk.
Normally giving up the first goal for this Wild squad is no big deal. It ain't no thang. But it was the next shift and Joe Pavelski sneaked in behind Brodin for a breakaway. Pavelski is one of the best snipers in the league, and he found room over Dubnyk's glove to quickly make the score 2-0. Minnesota didn't really threaten much for chances. Any shots seemed be the one-and-done variety.
And when you're hoping to get back into the game, taking a penalty isn't the way to go. Mikko Koivu's penalty proved to be costly.
Carrying penalty time over to start the third period. Fifty-one whole seconds later Couture got his second of game. Erik Karlsson had the puck inside the Wild line, and he couldn't be checked off the puck. After a nifty drop pass between the legs to Tomas Hertl, the puck eventually was moved down to Couture in the left offensive circle, and Dubnyk had no answer. It was quickly 3-0 and the Wild's chances of coming back had deflated with the rest of the building.
San Jose was able to nullify just about any push the Wild had. Luke Kunin had a nice play that Jones easily stopped because, again, he was square to the shot. Jared Spurgeon hit the post after firing a screen shit through a Sharks defender off an offensive zone faceoff.
With the net empty for the Wild, Nino Niederreiter drop passed then puck to his own blue line...right to Lukas Radil. From the Wild line, he fired a shot into the open net.
Minnesota finished their four-game home-stand 2-2, and scored just once in the final two games after scoring 12 goals in the first two games.
Mikko Koivu, back after missing time with a sprained MCL in his left knee, centered the third line of Jason Zucker and Luke Kunin and they looked mostly good. Zucker missed on some Grade A chances, and Koivu had an open net at the end that he missed.
Outside of that, there wasn't anything positive to take away from this game. The Wild head out east to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. They need to figure out their finishing ways again.