Scoring Chances: Game 39 @ Minnesota

A lot of virtual ink has been spilled about how Minnesota's position atop the Western Conference standings in early December was far from indicative of how the team had played to that point in the season and was largely predicated on an unsustainable save percentage. With the Wild having lost 11 of their last 12 games heading into last night's matchup with the Sharks, it would seem that those claims have been validated as the regression is in full effect. Which is what makes what transpired last night in St. Paul that much more puzzling and, from a Minnesota standpoint, impressive.

While the Wild were outchanced 17-14 at even strength overall, largely due to score effects taking hold (and, on this night, biting them in the ass) after the team jumped to a 4-2 lead in the third period, Minnesota dictated the flow of this game from the opening faceoff until the Nick Johnson goal that gave the Wild their first two-goal lead of the night. At that point, Dany Heatley and company had outchanced the Sharks 16-9. San Jose was certainly not in top form but if the Wild can replicate that kind of performance on a regular basis they may have a fighting chance against the great PDO monster. Full scoring chance breakdown after the jump.

Best EV Forward: Joe Thornton (+7)

Worst EV Forward: Ryane Clowe (-4)

Best EV Defenseman: Dan Boyle (+8)

Worst EV Defenseman: Justin Braun (-5)

Period Totals EV PP 5v3 PP SH 5v3 SH
1 3 8 2 5 0 0 1 0 0 3 0 0
2 3 7 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
3 11 4 10 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
4 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Totals 19 19 17 14 1 0 1 0 0 5 0 0

Team Period Time Note SJS Opponent
MIN 1 19:48 Wellman 29 31 39 60 78 88 4 5 7 17 22 37 5v5
MIN 1 17:20 Powe 3 17 26 31 61 64 3 14 21 34 37 55 5v5
MIN 1 16:08 Cullen 22 29 31 39 44 78 7 17 22 37 44 46 5v5
SJS 1 15:26 Pavelski 8 12 19 31 60 88 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
MIN 1 12:56 Goal - Clutterbuck 3 26 29 31 61 78 7 17 22 37 44 46 5v5
MIN 1 8:39 Johnson PP 3 8 12 31 88 3 9 15 21 25 37 4v5
MIN 1 7:41 Schultz PP 22 26 31 44 69 7 17 22 37 46 55 4v5
MIN 1 7:34 Wellman PP 22 26 31 44 69 7 17 22 37 46 55 4v5
SJS 1 6:21 Marleau 8 12 19 31 60 88 4 5 7 17 22 37 5v5
SJS 1 3:52 Goal - Boyle PP 8 12 19 22 26 31 4 14 37 44 5v3
MIN 1 1:00 Heatley 17 22 26 31 44 64 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
SJS 2 12:53 Pavelski 8 12 19 22 31 44 3 7 25 34 37 55 5v5
MIN 2 12:18 Heatley 8 12 19 22 31 44 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
MIN 2 8:12 Cullen PP 3 19 26 31 88 7 15 17 22 37 46 4v5
MIN 2 7:17 Cullen 8 19 22 31 57 60 4 5 7 9 25 37 5v5
MIN 2 6:34 Goal - Peters 29 31 39 44 57 61 5 14 34 37 43 44 5v5
MIN 2 6:22 Cullen 17 26 31 60 64 88 4 5 7 17 22 37 5v5
SJS 2 4:40 Couture 19 22 31 39 44 7 17 37 44 46 4v4
SJS 2 4:38 Vlasic 19 22 31 39 44 7 17 37 44 46 4v4
MIN 2 3:29 Johnson 10 17 22 26 31 44 3 9 15 25 37 55 5v5
MIN 2 0:27 Wellman PP 3 8 12 31 88 7 17 22 37 46 55 4v5
SJS 3 15:43 Clowe PP 26 29 31 39 60 61 5 7 9 37 55 5v4
SJS 3 13:19 Desjardins 3 22 26 29 31 69 3 7 17 22 37 55 5v5
SJS 3 12:29 Vlasic 17 22 26 31 44 57 16 18 37 43 44 46 5v5
MIN 3 12:18 Goal - Johnson 8 12 19 31 60 88 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
MIN 3 11:12 Clutterbuck 3 29 31 39 61 69 4 5 7 17 22 37 5v5
SJS 3 10:13 Goal - Ferriero 17 22 31 44 64 78 4 5 14 21 34 37 5v5
SJS 3 10:05 Pavelski 8 12 19 22 31 44 3 9 15 25 37 55 5v5
MIN 3 9:45 Heatley 8 12 19 22 31 44 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
SJS 3 6:57 Pavelski 8 12 19 22 31 44 3 9 15 25 37 55 5v5
MIN 3 6:20 Goal - Cullen 29 31 39 44 61 69 4 5 7 17 22 37 5v5
SJS 3 3:07 Couture 8 22 31 39 69 88 5 9 25 34 37 44 5v5
SJS 3 3:06 Goal - Couture 8 22 31 39 69 88 5 9 25 34 37 44 5v5
SJS 3 2:44 Goal - Marleau 8 12 19 22 31 88 9 15 25 37 44 46 5v5
SJS 3 1:51 Thornton 22 29 31 39 69 88 4 5 14 21 25 37 5v5
SJS 3 1:10 Pavelski 8 12 19 31 44 88 9 15 22 37 44 46 5v5
SJS 4 4:42 Thornton 12 19 22 31 44 9 15 37 44 46 4v4
SJS 4 3:41 Marleau 12 19 22 31 44 4 5 9 22 37 4v4

# Player EV PP SH
3 D. MURRAY 15:35 1 3 0:00 0 0 3:05 0 3
8 J. PAVELSKI 18:13 9 4 1:29 0 0 2:46 0 2
10 B. WINCHESTER 6:11 0 1 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
12 P. MARLEAU 16:54 9 3 1:29 0 0 2:53 0 2
17 T. MITCHELL 11:32 2 4 0:00 0 0 0:24 0 0
19 J. THORNTON 19:05 11 4 1:29 0 0 0:42 0 1
22 D. BOYLE 24:04 14 6 1:04 0 0 2:55 0 2
26 M. HANDZUS 9:58 2 5 1:51 1 0 1:33 0 3
29 R. CLOWE 15:55 2 6 1:51 1 0 0:10 0 0
31 A. NIEMI 54:56 17 14 3:20 1 0 6:00 0 5
39 L. COUTURE 15:46 5 5 1:51 1 0 1:38 0 0
44 M. VLASIC 22:35 10 7 0:10 0 0 2:11 0 2
57 T. WINGELS 6:59 1 2 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
60 J. DEMERS 16:10 2 4 2:16 1 0 0:00 0 0
61 J. BRAUN 12:19 0 5 0:47 1 0 0:47 0 0
64 J. MCGINN 13:06 1 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
69 A. DESJARDINS 11:54 4 2 0:00 0 0 1:54 0 2
78 B. FERRIERO 12:08 1 3 0:00 0 0 0:00 0 0
88 B. BURNS 19:16 7 3 2:23 0 0 3:02 0 3

Head-to-head scoring chances:

H2hg39_medium

Minnesota's second line went to town on Logan Couture's line who were matched up against each other for a little over 60% of their even-strength shifts. Presumably, this was the primary impetus for Todd McLellan to throw every line but the first into the blender by the middle of the second period. Andrew Desjardins skated several shifts with Logan Couture and Ryane Clowe while Michal Handzus was bumped down to the de facto fourth line and Jamie McGinn, Torrey Mitchell and Benn Ferriero joined forces to create the Sharks' third goal. All three members of the third line that started the game for San Jose had rough outings on the whole, failing to win any of their head-to-head matchups that weren't against the Wild's fourth line.

On the positive side, the top line took over the game in the third period. A lot of that, as I alluded to earlier, was score effects with Minnesota collapsing into a defensive shell after securing their first two-goal lead of the night but Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski were among the lone bright spots for the Sharks through two periods as well.

More stats from the game: Corsi/Fenwick, Shift Charts, H2H Ice Time, Zonestarts, Play-By-Play, Box Score

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