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Vlasic's magic strikes again
Defenseman wins 2nd straight game for SJ
1/6/14 - By Mike Lee -

Marc-Edouard Vlasic said he asked to be on the ice during the last minute of overtime on Tuesday night as the Sharks squared off against the host Minnesota Wild in Minneapolis. 24 hours after scoring a dramatic last second goal to beat Winnipeg on Monday night, Vlasic wanted a chance to deliver once again. He did exactly that. The Sharks top defenseman got offensive for a second game in a row, scoring the game winning goal with 2 minutes left in overtime to help San Jose take the first two games of their current 3-game road trip.

San Jose overcame a pair of 1st period errors that had them staring at a 2-0 deficit after 20 minutes. They halved that lead in the 2nd period, then grabbed a 3-2 lead on 3rd period goals by Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels. Jason Zucker salvaged a point in the standings for Minnesota by the scoring the seond of his two goals with 7:48 left in regulation to get the game to the overtime before Vlasic's heroics ended things.

Vlasic ended the game with a blast from the top of the left circle as he exchanged passes with Justin Braun on a give-and-go at the Wild blueline. The Sharks defenseman had just bobbled the puck out of the Wild zone before resetting and attacking the Minnesota goal. Vlasic wound up an unimpeded slap shot squeezed between Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper, clipping the nearside post and catching the back of the net for the 4-3 win.

Minnesota native Alex Stalock opposed Kuemper in net, playing before several friends and family as the sharks tried to snap a 7-game losing streak at the Xcel Energy Center. Stalock put himself into a hole late in the 1st period when he misplayed the puck from the trapezoid. After a would be icing was waved off, Stalock scooped up the puck from the left side of the net. With two Wild players descending on him, Stalock elected to play the puck up the middle of the ice, rather than dumping it to the corner. Zucker intercepted Stalock's clearing attempt then promptly flipped it past the Sharks netminder for his 13th goal of the season.

Jared Spurgeon pushed the Wild lead to 2-0 just 2 minutes later after Zucker carried the puck around the back of the net and fed the defenseman who pinched from the right point. Tommy Wingels tried chasing Zucker behind the net and when Patrick Marleau was late to occupy the right side of the net, Spurgeon one-timed Zucker's feed without any interference.

Rookie Melker Karlsson scored in consecutive games for the first time in his career, after a dump in by Brent Burns kicked off a stanchion and bounced out to the front of the net. Chasing the dump in, Karlsson was in the right place at the right time, when the puck landed right on his stick in the slot. The young Swede deeked Kuemper with a move to his left before backhanding home his 4th goal of the season.

Pavelski tied the game at 2-2 at 6:21 of the 3rd period, by snapping a shot from the left circle after Logan Couture won a faceoff and pulled it back to his linemate. Pavelski gathered the shot and placed it perfectly past Kuemper, catching the top left side of the Wild goal for his 21st tally of the season.

San Jose took the 3-2 lead 74 seconds later when Wingels gathered his own rebound and lifted a shot past Kuemper. The Sharks forward whipped a shot from the left side, but defenseman Jonas Brodin partially deflected the puck forcing Kuemper to make a kick save. The puck kicked off Kuemper's left pad right back out to Wingels for the put back.

Zucker knotted the game at 3-3 with 7:48 to play in regulation by tapping home acharlie Coyle feed from the right side. Skating up the right wing boards, Coyle whipped a pass to the front of the net with Brenden Dillon draped all over him. Zucker beat Braun to the spot where the pass was headed to complete the pretty scoring play.

With the win, the Sharks lep-frogged the Kings and Jets into 6th place in the Western Conference, and into a virtual tie with the Vancouver Canucks. The Wild sit 8 points behind the Sharks, but have three games in hand to narrow the gap. Every other team in the Conference has a game or more in hand on San Jose except for Edmonton and Anaheim.

San Jose will finish the home stand by traveling to St Louis on Thursday where they will have an opportunity to avenge the 7-2 shellacking they took at the hands of the Blues last Saturday night.



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Scoring
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 0 1 2 1 4
MIN 2 0 1 0 3
1st period - 1, MIN, Zucker 13 (Pominville), 15:21. 2, MIN, Spurgeon 5 (Zucker, Pominville), 17:22.
2nd period - 3, SJ, Karlsson 4 (Burns, Pavelski), 10:54.
3rd period - 4, SJ, Pavelski 21 (Couture), 6:21. 5, SJ, Wingels 10 (Sheppard, Burns), 7:35. 6, MIN, Zucker 14 (Coyle), 12:12.
Overtime - 7, SJ, Vlasic 6 (Braun), 3:08.
Penalties
1st period - Goodrow, SJ (closing hand on puck), 9:47; Falk, MIN (hooking), 18:00.
2nd period - Tennyson, SJ (interference), 1:55; Koivu, MIN (tripping), 4:12; Couture, SJ (embellishment), 11:01; Koivu, SJ (tripping), 11:01; Vanek, MIN (hooking), 13:09.
3rd period - Vanek, MIN (interference), 17:58.
Overtime - None.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
SJ - Stalock 31 28
MIN - Kuemper 26 22
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 OT T
SJ 8 6 10 2 26
MIN 10 6 12 3 31
Power Play Conversion
SJ 0 of 4
MIN 0 of 2
3 Stars of the Game
Joe Pavelski
Jason Zucker
Marc-Edouard Vlasic
Attendence
19,043
Officials
Referees: Pochmara, O'Rourke. Linesmen: Cvik, Galloway.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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