Wild beat Sharks 5-2, extend point streak to 12 games
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Marcus Johansson, Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy scored in Minnesota's three-goal third period, and the Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 5-2 Saturday night.
Jared Spurgeon and Frederick Gaudreau also scored, and Ryan Hartman and John Klingberg each had two assists to help the Wild extend their point streak to 12 games (10-0-2) — one shy of the franchise record — with their their fourth straight road win. Marc-Andre Fleury made 35 saves to improve to 18-5-4 against the Sharks.
“I don’t think we’re getting complacent,” Spurgeon said of the streak. “After a game is done, we sort of push it aside and look forward to the next one. Everyone is contributing, whether it’s blocking shots or, you see the power play step up today to make some big plays for us.”
The Wild remained two points behind first-place Dallas in the Central Division after the Stars won earlier Saturday night at Seattle.
Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl each had a goal and an assist for San Jose, and Erik Karlsson added an assist for his 84th point of the year to set a franchise record for points by a defenseman. James Reimer had 24 saves.
The Sharks have lost six straight home games and eight of their last nine overall.
“We played a good hockey game,” San Jose coach David Quinn said. “We were sniping from an offensive perspective. We had plenty of scoring chances. Fleury played great. And we’ve just been finding ways to lose.”
Spurgeon opened the scoring just 1:44 into the game, beating Reimer on a partial breakaway for his 10th goal of the season.
Minnesota led 1-0 after the first period, despite being outshot 18-5.
“They obviously came out with a lot of jump,” Wild coach Dean Evason said. “We didn’t handle it real well at the start. Obviously, Flower kept us in the hockey game, made some incredible saves to allow us to get our legs under us, and maybe more so our minds straight. When we started playing the way we’re supposed to play and know we can play, we got better and better.”
Couture tied the score on the power play in the second period, scoring his team-leading 23rd.
Gaudreau put the Wild back in front with a power-play goal of his own late in the period. Reimer stopped an initial shot by Johansson, but Gaudreau put home the rebound for his 13th.
Johansson extended the lead 30 seconds into the third period, redirecting Klingberg’s shot into the net for his 14th.
Hertl brought San Jose back within 1 on the power play with 11:24 remaining, scoring his 19th of the season and 200th of his career. Minnesota challenged the play for goaltender interference but the call was confirmed upon video review.
Less than three minutes later, Zuccarello pushed the lead back to 2 with a power-play goal, his 21st of the year.
“I thought the last five (minutes) of the second and then the third we played a lot better, got back to just being stingy,” Spurgeon noted.
Boldy added an empty-netter for his 18th.
During the first period, the Sharks recognized assistant equipment manager Vinny Ferraiuolo, who worked his 2,000th NHL game.
NOTES: Klingberg reached 400 points for his career. ... Wild RW Brandon Duhaime missed his fourth straight game with an upper-body injury. ... Sharks D Jacob MacDonald (undisclosed) missed his third straight game and is considered week-to-week.
Wild: Continue a four-game road trip at Arizona on Sunday.
Sharks: Host Columbus on Tuesday.
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Ben Ross, The Associated Press