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Little to appreciate in home finale loss
Minnesota Wild mauls Sharks at SAP
4/13/2024 - By Mike Lee

The Sharks wrapped up their regular season home schedule with one final tilt at SAP Center on Saturday night. They rewarded their fans with much of the same bad hockey they played in the previous 40 games on home ice this season. The Minnesota Wild piled on the Sharks, taking a 6-2 decision before a rare sellout crowd.

For the sellout crowd, it was a reminder that investing in season tickets for the 2024-25 season may be a bit premature. The Sharks have a long way to go in their rebuild, and this season was full of lessons for many of the youngest Sharks.

The Sharks won only 11 times on home ice this season. SAP Center was once one of the toughest buildings in the NHL to play in. Not so much these days.

Matt Boldy converted his 28th goal of the season 5:19 into the contest by throwing a put-back chance past Mackenzie Blackwood. Kapril Kaprizov fired a shot on net that hit Blackwood and kicked out to the bottom of the right circle where Boldy was lurking. Shark defenseman Mario Ferraro couldn't react quick enough to get in front of the Boldy return attempt after getting caught with his back to the Wild forward.

Jan Rutta knotted the game at 1-1 more than 4 minutes later with a blast from the blueline. The defenseman's shot clipped a Wild defender in the slot, changing the trajectory of the shot on Wild goaltender Jesper Wallstedt. The goal was Rutta's 5th of the season.

Declan Chisholm helped Minnesota regain the lead with 3:09 left in the period. The Wild defenseman fired a shot from the left side that weaved through several bodies in front of the net. Blackwood was late to find it, giving Chisholm his 3rd tally of the season.

Liam Ohgren scored his 1st NHL goal 14 minutes into the 2nd period. The rookie Swede was trailing through the slot when Jonas Brodin tried putting a shot past Blackwood from in tight. The rebound kicked back out to the spot being occupied by Ohgren for a 10-foot put back chance to make it a 3-1 game.

Mario Ferraro answered 89 seconds later with a blast from the slot after he trailed William Eklund and Mikael Granlund as they entered the Wild zone. Granlund slid the puck to his left where Eklund was able to gather it and drip it back to Ferraro for the one-time blast.

The Karil Kaprizov show took over from there.

The Wild forward single handedly put the game out of reach while closing out the period. Kaprizov fired a shot from the left point at 19:04 that hit Blackwood, bounced off the left post, then returned to hit Blackwood a second time before skipping across the goals line.

Fabian Zetterlund took a high sticking penalty with 37 seconds remaining in the period, which allowed Kaprizov to score his second goal in the final minute of the period. Joel Ericksson-Ek was navigating behind the Sharks net on the power play when he spotted Kaprizov all by his lonesome in front of the Sharks net. A quick feed and one-time chance made it a 5-2 game just 8.3 seconds before the 2nd intermission.

The Sharks did little in terms of making any adjustments during that intermission break, because the Wild opened the 3rd period with their 6th goal of the game just 1:46 into the final frame. Marcus Johansson bagged his 11th of the season to make it a 4-goal lead.

San Jose would do little to generate much offense in the 3rd period. They would be out-shot 12-8 in the period and 38-29 for the game.

Game Notes:

* Mario Ferraro was voted as the Sharks Media Good Guy by Bay Area media representatives. The award is presented annually to the player who handles his media responsibilities with cooperation, honesty and thoughtfulness, and answers the bell no matter the outcome or situation.

* With the secondary assist on the Rutta goal, Mikael Granlund has extended his point streak to 11 games. He also has points in 15 of his last 16 games and 19 of his last 21 games.

* Will Smith was voted as Sharks Top Prospect. The 2023 3rd overall selection lost in the NCAA National Championship Game on Saturday, as Boston College lost to the University of Denver 2-0. Smith led the NCAA with 71 points and 46 assists as a freshman. He was named to the Hockey East First All-Star Team, earned Hockey East Tournament MVP honors and was tabbed for the Frozen Four All-Tournament Team.

* The Sharks announced that 555,934 tickets were issued this season for an average of 13,559 per game. That is a decrease from the 2022-23's average of 13,988 tickets per game.

* In what was likely to be Kevin Labanc's last game as a Shark, the forward skated 12:09 of ice time on 15 shifts and was a -2, recording a single shot on goal and 3 hits.


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1 2 3 T
MIN 2 3 1 6
SJ 1 1 0 2
1st period - 1, MIN, Boldy 28 (Kaprizov, Middleton), 5:19. 2, SJ, Rutta 5 (Ferraro, Granlund), 9:32. 3, MIN, Chisholm 3 (Merrill, Ohgren), 16:51.
2nd period - 4, MIN, Ohgren 1 (Brodin, Khusnutdinov), 14:23. 5, SJ, Ferraro 3 (Eklund, Granlund), 15:52. 6, MIN, Kaprizov 43 (Faber, Brodin), 19:04. 7, MIN, Kaprizov 44 (Eriksson-Ek, Boldy), 19:51, (pp).
3rd period - 8, MIN, Johansson 11 (Merrill, Goligoski), 1:46.
1st period - None.
2nd period - Bordeleau, SJ (tripping), 1:56; Rossi, MIN (tripping), 3:02; Bogosian, MIN (holding), 5:57; Zetterlund, SJ (high sticking), 19:23.
3rd period - Kaprizov, MIN (tripping), 9:20.
Shots Saves
MIN - Wallstedt 29 27
SJ - Blackwood 38 32
Shots On Goal
1 2 3 T
MIN 13 13 12 38
SJ 9 12 8 29
Power Play Conversion
MIN 1 of 2
SJ 0 of 3
3 Stars of the Game
Karil Kaprizov
Brock Faber
Mikael Granlund
SAP Center - 17,435
Referees: #45 Cody Beach, #48 Beau Halkidis. Linesmen: #87 Devin Berg, #88 Tyson Baker.

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