Joe Pavelski's late goal lifted the Sharks over the Wild for their second straight win and seventh in their last eight games. Tomas Hertl, Joonas Donskoi, and Joel Ward also scored goals and Martin Jones made 25 saves in the win.
After being shut out by Darcy Kuemper and the Wild on December 12, the Sharks only needed 93 seconds to get on the board in the teams' second meeting. Pavelski just missed the net after pressure by the top line resulted in a 4-on-2, but Tomas Hertl carried the rebound around the net and banked it past Kuemper to score his ninth goal of the season and put the Sharks up 1–0.
Hertl banks it in off of Kuemper. :-)) pic.twitter.com/P5tMT5ygJ5— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 23, 2016
The Wild tied the game at 1–1 when Chris Porter went to the net off a faceoff and banged a rebound past Martin Jones half a minute after a delay of game penalty to Melker Karlsson expired. Minnesota's power play, which had several good chances on that unsuccessful first opportunity, added a goal by former Sharks prospect Charlie Coyle to make it 2–1 Wild 23 seconds before the end of the first period.
In the second, the Sharks dominated possession and picked up a pair of goals 1:38 apart to tie the game again then take their second lead. The first came on the second of two consecutive power plays when Joel Ward sent a perfect cross-ice pass to Joonas Donskoi, who one-timed it past Kuemper for his seventh goal of the season and the first power play goal of his young NHL career.
That pass and finish. pic.twitter.com/mwduhIzNxB— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) January 23, 2016
Ward added a goal of his own after Matthew Rumba rang a shot off the post at one end of the ice and Donskoi missed an easy tap-in opportunity at the other. The goal was Ward's 14th and gave the Sharks a 3–2 lead going into the second intermission. Shot attempts in the second were 30–13 Sharks after being 23–18 Wild in the first.
Excepting an early power play, Minnesota didn't put on much of a push to start the third, but that didn't matter because Jarret Stoll tied the game again at 3–3 on just the sixth Wild shot of the period at 12:10. With the score knotted and the third period winding down, it looked like the Sharks would go to overtime in their fourth straight game at home, but Pavelski put his team up 4–3 on a set faceoff play with 1:23 left and Jones stopped every Wild shot in the final minute to preserve the win.
Sharks goals (assists): Tomas Hertl (Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton), Joonas Donskoi (Joel Ward, Joe Pavelski), Joel Ward (Logan Couture, Joonas Donskoi), Joe Pavelski (Joe Thornton)
Fear the Fin's Three Stars
1) Joe Pavelski
2) Joel Ward
3) Joe Thornton