Sharks withstand late surge by the Wild in victory
Published 6:49 pm Friday, November 8, 2019
SAN JOSE, Calif. — After a troubling lapse in the third period, the San Jose Sharks felt fortunate it didn’t cost them.
Logan Couture had a goal and three assists, Evander Kane scored his team-leading 10th of the season and the Sharks held off the Minnesota Wild 6-5 on Thursday night.
Minnesota trailed 6-2 midway through the third before scoring three straight goals — the first two in a span of 74 seconds.
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“We didn’t forecheck, we didn’t sustain any time in their end. We didn’t get back to what we did at the start,” Couture said. “Just sloppy, sloppy play really.”
Tomas Hertl added a goal and two assists for the Sharks in their second consecutive win after dropping five straight and seven of eight.
Eric Staal had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Brad Hunt got his fifth goal and Ryan Donato his first for the Wild. Justin Zucker’s fifth with 4:35 left cut it to 6-5.
“You see leads 3-0, 4-0, all the time evaporate — or at least close down,” Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. “It’s tough. It’s human nature to kind of sit and take a deep breath at that point, and that’s not just us. That’s everyone in the league. And the other team’s embarrassed and (ticked) off and they’re going to come out and push and I think it was a combination of those things.”
Sharks goalie Martin Jones made 21 saves, highlighted by a terrific stop of a potential tying goal with just under 2:30 left, when he got his pad on Zach Parise’s shot in front.
Ryan Hartman was assessed a five-minute major penalty for slashing Kane, who fell to the ice and needed help getting back to the bench with an apparent left leg injury with just under 10 minutes left in a 6-4 game.
Kane said he was hit in the back of the knee.
“Didn’t feel good at all,” he said.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau, however, wasn’t buying it.
“Kane did a great job of selling it,” Boudreau said. “Because he went off limping, everybody thought he had a broken ankle and all he missed was one shift. So, you go figure it out. But it was a good job by him to change the momentum.”
Couture scored the game’s first goal, his second of the season, 52 seconds in. Timo Meier got his fourth early in the first period to make it 2-0.
The Sharks took a 4-0 lead into the first intermission after Marcus Sorensen’s third goal and Radim Simek’s first.
Simek was playing his second game since March 12, when the defenseman tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee.
Minnesota closed to 4-1 on Luke Kunin’s third goal at 15:51 of the second — the first of four goals the teams combined to score in less than 3½ minutes.
After Hertl got his sixth on a power play to give San Jose a 5-1 lead, Staal scored his sixth goal for Minnesota, extending his point streak to six games.
Kane scored in the last minute of the second to extend his goal-scoring streak to three games and his point streak to four. He also had an assist on Couture’s goal.
Devan Dubnyk made 17 saves in the final two periods for Minnesota after replacing Alex Stalock. The former Sharks goalie gave up four goals.
“There are some situations we need to learn to handle better, but I’m not going to get picky,” DeBoer said. “Wins have been hard to come by and we did enough to win a game and we’ll move on to the next one.”
Wild forward Mats Zuccarello had an assist to extend his point streak to five games. Dubnyk played his 500th game. Sharks C Dylan Gambrell was back in the lineup after missing the previous three games with a hand injury. D Dalton Prout (upper body) and D Jacob Middleton (shoulder) wore non-contact jerseys during the morning skate. Melker Karlsson (upper body) is day to day. Kane needs one assist to reach 200.
Wild: At the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.
Sharks: Host the Nashville Predators on Saturday.