In a showdown between two of the league’s best goaltenders, we were expecting a low scoring hockey game between the Wild and Sharks. It ended up being quite the opposite, as the Minnesota Wild (24-9-4) rallied from a 2 goal deficit twice to defeat the San Jose Sharks (23-14-2) 5-4 on Thursday night at SAP Center.
The Sharks looked pretty solid in a quiet first period. The teams combined for just 13 combined shots, with San Jose getting 8 of those. Timo Meier had the best scoring chance after batting a puck just wide of the net.
That offense finally paid off for the Sharks in the second. An odd-man rush consisting of Dillon, Labanc, Couture and Donskoi opened up for them and it ended with a beautiful goal from Donskoi.
The Sharks would get some insurance immediately after. With a 4-on-4 situation on the ice and Devan Dubnyk out of position, Joe Pavelski poked the loose puck in to the back of the net. The Sharks looked to be the far better team.
The Wild wouldn’t give up though. On their first power play of the game, they would immediately cut the Sharks’ lead in half. A quick shot from Eric Staal at the point was too much for Martin Jones.
Down 2-1 going into the third, Minnesota needed an early goal to get back in it- and that’s exactly what they did. Zach Parise’s quick wrist shot from the slot beat Jones’ glove side to tie the game.
That would be just the start of an explosive third period. After Minnesota tied it at 2, San Jose quickly regained a 2 goal lead after goals from Joel Ward and Patrick Marleau 32 seconds apart. Minnesota would then get another goal from Eric Staal to cut the Sharks’ lead down to 1, just like where we were at the start of the period. Oh, and this was just the first five minutes of the third period.
Minnesota would manage to tie and take a 5-4 lead just after the halfway point of the third. Let me remind you— the Sharks had a 2-1 lead after 2. The Sharks never came back in the third and the Wild won 4-2.
- The Wild made up for the chances they missed earlier in the game. They must’ve missed about 4 open nets in the first two periods, but they scored that many goals in the third.
- Martin Jones looked absolutely miserable tonight. Granted, he didn’t get much help from the defense, but he still looked awful. He’ll want to put that one in the rear view mirror and move on. Perhaps we will see Aaron Dell in net Saturday against Detroit.
Fear The Fin Three Stars
- Mikko Koivu
- Eric Staal
- Zach Parise