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Setoguchi's offense extends Sharks win streak
San Jose gets the job done against tenacious Wild
1/22/11 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks look down right dominating at times, but they would escape with a 4-3 win over the visiting Minnesota Wild on Saturday night at HP Pavilion. San Jose would record 25 shots in a period for the second consecutive game and simply outplayed the Wild most of the night, but they would make simple mistakes that kept the Wild within striking distance most of the night.

Like the Sharks, Minnesota entered the game with a three-game winning streak and matched San Jose with 53 points in the standings. They held the spot directly above the Sharks by virtue of playing one less game, but they would be lookging up at the Sharks in the standings by the end of the evening.

“The significance is we got wins," said SHarks head coach Todd McLellan. "A win is a win right now. What’s happened throughout the year against certain teams really doesn’t matter we can’t go back and change it. The Vancouver win was rewarding because they’re a very good team and we played well in their building. Coming back here was had to play against one of the hottest teams in the league and again we found a way to win. I don’t want it to be diminished or expanded anymore than it is. It’s a win and it’s very important.”

Logan Couture would open the scoring with a shot from the right dot that slipped inside the near post. Wild goaltender Niklas Backstrom failed to cover the near post, allowing the rocket to find twine for Couture's 22nd goal of the season.

A cross checking penalty to Douglas Murray at 12:21 was followed by a too many men on the ice infraction by the Sharks 48 seconds later. The Wild would use the two-man advantage to knot the game at 1-1 when Mikko Koivu cranked a shot past Antti Niemi from the top of the right circle. Defenseman Brent Burns setup the goal with a pass for the one-timer. Burns would record a point on all three of the Wild goals.

The Sharks would go on another tear in the middle period, putting 25 shots on goal for the second consecutive game. They would pepper Backstrom early in the period. A nice breakout pass by Dan Boyle 4 minutes into the period would result in the first of Devin Setoguchi's two goals. Boyle hit Patrick Marleau with a 60-foot pass that allowed the forward to race into the Minnesota zone and draw two defenders over the left wing. Marleau slid a pass to Setoguchi on the right wing for a shot that Backstrom stopped, but the puck landed right on Setogchi's stick for the put back and the 2-1 lead.

Setoguchi would bag another goal less than three minutes later by deflecting a Joe Pavelski shot, after Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner was sent off for a holding the stick infraction. Setoguchi had to raise his stick to a blade on the rocket, knocking it past Backstrom for his 9th goal of the season.

The play was reviewed by the game officials to ensure that it wasn't knocked down with a high stick, but replays showed his stick was below his shoulder.

“We had trouble handling their speed," said Wild head coach Todd Richards. "They were coming. They were coming hard tonight. You have to give credit to them. In the first period I thought they had a couple more opportunities. But I still felt that a 1- 1 score coming out of the first was a decent period.”

Niklas Wallin would take a high sticking penalty at 6:54 of the period, setting up a Wild power play goal. Koivu would bag his second goal of the game on a shot from the right circle, beating Niemi glove side.

San Jose was forced to kill of their 6th penalty of the evening after Dany Heatley took a holding penalty just 30 seconds into the 3rd period. The Sharks would get the job done and then push the lead back to two goals, when Benn Ferriero drew Backstrom out of the net before sliding around him to deposit his 5th goal of the season.

Niemi made nice save on Kyle Brodziak trying jamming a deflection home from just outside the left post. Niemi was sitting in the crease and had to extend his pad to block the Brodziak shot.

With the backs against the wall, the Wild turned up the pressure late in the game and would cut the lead to 4-3 after Brett Burns put a puck past Niemi with 3:25 left in regulation. Cal Clutterbuck put a shot on goal that bounced out to the right side where the Wild defenseman pounced on it to get the shot off.

Minnesota would pull Backstrom with 1:04 left , but it wouldn't help the Wild generate anymore scoring. The game would end on an ugly note, when Andrew Brunette tagged Murray with a shot against the end boards while the Sharks defenseman was facing the glass. Murray took exception to the hit, which was ruled a boarding infraction, taking several shots at the Minnesota winger.

“Four games in a row is nice," added McLellan. "It reminds me a lot of heading into Christmas. We had our game going well. We were able to play well that last game and went into the break and somehow forgot everything over a 48-hour period, so there is concern there. We only have three more periods left and then guys will get their opportunity to rest and to get focused for the last ride.”

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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MIN 1 1 1 3
SJ 1 2 1 4
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 22 (Demers), 11:33. 2, MIN, Koivu 13 (Burns), 13:19, (pp).
2nd period - 3, SJ, Setoguchi 8 (Marleau, Boyle), 3:56. 4, SJ, Setoguchi 9 (Pavelski, Marleau), 6:36, (pp). 5, MIN, Koivu 14 (Cullen, Burns), 7:27, (pp).
3rd period - 6, SJ, Ferriero 5 (Thornton, McGinn), 3:57. 7, MIN, Burns 14 (Clutterbuck, Bouchard), 16:35.
Penalties
1st period - Cullen, MIN (hooking), 6:04; Murray, SJ (cross checking), 12:21; Bench, SJ (too many men), 13:09; Couture, SJ (high sticking), 17:42.
2nd period - Stoner, MIN (high sticking), 1:45; Stoner, MIN (holding the stick), 5:43; Wallin, SJ (high sticking), 6:54; Pavelsk, SJ (tripping), 14:52.
3rd period - Heatley, SJ (holding), 0:30; Brunette, MIN (boarding), 20:00.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MIN - Backstrom 42 38
SJ - Niemi 26 23
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MIN 7 10 9 26
SJ 7 25 10 42
Power Play Conversion
MIN 2 of 6
SJ 1 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Devin Setoguchi
Brent Burns
Jamie McGinn
Attendence
17,562
Officials
Referees: Meier, Kozari. Linesmen: Murray, Heyer.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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