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Wild win over Wild
Sharks hang on for 6-5 win after taking 4-0 lead
11/7/19 - By Mike Lee -

The Sharks welcomed an old friend back to the SAP Center on Thursday night. Former goaltender Alex Stalock returned to SAP and was given the opportunity to start against his former team. The Sharks were terrible hosts as they put four pucks past him in the 1st period in a gut punch 20 minutes. San Jose would go on to score 6 goals in the game, but they allowed the gritty Wild to work their way back into the game, scoring 3 goals in the 3rd period to draw within a single goal, setting up a crazy finish. The Sharks would hang on to win their second straight game, beating the Wild 6-5.

The fantastic start was overshadowed by a horrific 3rd period, which was a reminder of the defensive holes that still plague the Sharks. Things looked rosy for 40 minutes, but the absence of finish will either serve as a valuable lesson that the younger players will build on, or an omen of what horrors still await the Sharks in a season that is less than a quarter complete.

San Jose jumped out to a quick lead when Logan Couture punched home an Evander Kane feed while parked on the Wild doorstep. Kane made the feed from the right corner as Couture slipped underneath past two Minnesota defenders. Former Sharks goaltender Alex Stalock squared to the puck, but Couture slipped the puck past his old teammate stick side.

Timo Meier pushed the lead to 2-0 at 5:55 when he gathered a Tomas Hertl feed at the blueline before skating to the left circle and uncorking a shot that beat Stalock glove side. Stalock was squared to the shooter, but his glove looked slow to react to the shot that tucked inside the right post for his 4th goal of the season.

Marcus Sorensen made it a 3-0 game with 3:20 left in the period when he got a stick blade on a Patrick Marleau feed in the slot, changing the attack angle of the puck so that it crept to the left of Stalock. The goal was Sorensen's 3rd of the season.

Radim Simek got in on the scoring at 18:32 when he stepped into a Tomas Hertl drop pass in the high slot to beat Stalock for his 1st goal of the season. It's been a long road back for the Sharks defenseman who was playing in only his second game since returning from knee surgery last year.

Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau tried to light a fire under his team by pulling Stalock to start the 2nd period, inserting Devin Dubnyk in net.

Minnesota got on the board at 15:51 of the 2nd period after beating Brendan Dillon to a loose puck out in front of the Sharks net. Defenseman Mario Ferraro had defensive responsibility on Kunin, but Mat Dumba clipped his skate, with a trip that went uncalled. Kunin swooped to the puck and lifted a shot past Martin Jones.

The two teams would score two goals each in that last 4:09 of the period to light up the scoreboard.

The Sharks would score a pair of power play goals, that were split by Eric Staal's 6th goal of the season. Tomas Hertl bagged his 6th of the year at 17:04 after Staal was sent off for high sticking. The Sharks forward was floating in the slot when an Logan Couture attempt hit a Wild defender. The puck kicked right to Hertl who sent a low shot past Dubnyk for the 5-1 lead.

The Wild cut the Sharks to three goals one again when Staal deflected a Ryan Hartman shot while he sat parked in the slot. Hartman whipped the puck to the area in front of the net from the right point, but Staal got a stick blade on the shot, redirecting it down to the ice where it skipped past Jones.

Jordan Greenway put the Sharks back on the power play with 55 seconds left in the period when he tossed a puck over the glass from his own zone. The Sharks took all of 10 seconds on the power play to put a 6th puck across the goal line. Couture spotted Evander Kane positioned on the left post, so he sent a long diagonal pass from the right dot to the off post. Kane easily tapped home the feed for his 9th tally of the season.

Brad Hunt made it a 6-3 game at 8:07 of the 3rd period, slipping a one-time chance from in tight after Kunin fed him the puck from the end boards. Hunt was in the near the bottom of the right circle and put his shot between Jones' pads for his 5th goal of the season.

Minnesota scored 1:14 later when Ryan Donato fired a shot from the high slot, beating Jones for his 1st tally of the year.

Things turned chippy with just under 10 minutes remaining in regulation when Evander Kane slashed Hartman as the two were engaged along the side boards. Harman took a whack at Kane, catching him in the back of the knee, buckling the forward. Kane had to hobble to the locker room after a stoppage, but both earned penalties. Hartman was assessed slashing major and was tossed from the game.

Minnesota immediately took another penalty too many men, which setup some 5-on-3 power play time, but the Sharks couldn't convert.

Jason Zucker served Hartman's time in the box, which may have motivated him a bit. As soon as he stepped back on the ice, he and Matt Zuccarello skated up ice, working the puck around Joe Thornton. Zucker carried the puck up the left side before slipping a shot past Jones to cut the Sharks lead to a lone goal with 4:35 remaining in regulation.

Jones made the save of the game when Zach Parise had him dead to rights, but the Sharks netminder was able to pin his skate to the left post as the Wild captain took two whacks at trying to punch it home.

The last minute was a wild flurry of shot attempts that the Sharks somehow managed to survive. Barely.

Game Notes:

* Logan Couture recorded 4 points in the game with a goal and 3 assists.

* Dylan Gambrell, Erik Karlsson and Noah Gregor were the only skaters who did not record a shot on goal. San Jose threw 31 combined shots at Alex Stalock and Devan Dubnyk.

* In addition to Couture's big scoring night, four other Sharks had multi-point nights. Evander Kane, Marcus Sorensen and Timo Meier all had a goal and an assist. Tomas Hertl had a goal and two assists.

* Brendan Dillon recorded a -4 on a night where his team scored 6 goals. The defensive numbers weren't all bad. Marc-Edouard Vlasic had a decent game, and recorded a +3.

* Erik Staal led Minnesota with a goal and 2 assists.



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Scoring
1 2 3 T
MIN 0 2 3 5
SJ 4 2 0 6
1st period - 1, SJ, Couture 2 (Kane, Sorensen), 0:52. 2, SJ, Meier 4 (Hertl, E. Karlsson), 5:55. 3, SJ, Sorensen 3 (Marleau, Couture), 16:40. 4, SJ, Simek 1 (Hertl, Meier), 18:32.
2nd period - 5, MIN, Kunin 3 (Eriksson Ek), 15:51. 6, SJ, Hertl 6 (Couture, Burns), 17:04, (pp). 7, MIN, Staal 6 (Hartman), 17:59. 8, SJ, Kane 9 (Couture, Burns), 19:15, (pp).
3rd period - 9, MIN, Hunt 5 (Kunin), 8:07. 10, MIN, Donato 1 (Staal), 9:21. 11, MIN, Zucker 5 (Zuccarello, Staal), 15:25.
Penalties
1st period - Gambrell, SJ (slashing), 11:42; GReenway, MIN (roughing), 19:54; Burns, SJ (roughing), 19:54.
2nd period - Hartman, MIN (roughing), 5:09; Meier, SJ (roughing), 5:09; Dillon, SJ (slashing), 7:25; Meier, SJ (holding), 13:06; Dumba, MIN (fighting major), 14:06; Gambrell, SJ (fighting major), 14:06; Greenway, MIN (delay of game - puck over glass), 19:05.
3rd period - Hartman, MIN (slashing major), 10:09; Kane, SJ (cross checking), 10:09; Bench, MIN (too many men), 10:43.
Goaltending
Shots Saves
MIN - Stalock 12 8
MIN - Dubnyk 19 17
SJ - Jones 26 21
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MIN 10 10 6 26
SJ 12 7 12 31
Power Play Conversion
MIN 0 of 3
SJ 2 of 4
3 Stars of the Game
Logan Couture
Tomas Hertl
Erik Staal
Attendance
SAP Center - 15,764
Officials
Referees: Rehman, Schlenker. Linesmen: Suchanek, Gawryletz.
Holiday Gifts at BustedTees

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