The San Jose Sharks (19-11-6) defeated the Minnesota Wild (21-13-2) by the final of 4-2 in a game that was already had a playoff atmosphere about it.
In the first period the Sharks started strong once again by scoring two goals in the first six minutes of the game. Martin Havlat scored first just a minute and a half into the game and San Jose never looked back.
The second goal of the period was scored by Dan Boyle who went coast-to-coast on a two man advatage deking out Ryan Suter in the process. It was probably one of the best goals by a Sharks this season and you would be hard pressed to find a sweeter goal by a defenseman all season.
In the second period the Wild caught up and scored twice on goals from former San Jose prospect Charlie Coyle and another former Shark Dany Heatley. With the scored tied at two apiece we had a new game.
Then, with about five minutes left in the period, the Sharks took the lead once again when Joe Thornton threw the puck at the net and it deflected off of a defenseman’s skate and in thet net. The play was set up by Burns who made a great steal in the offensive zone on a Wild breakout and fed the puck to Thornton.
In the third period the Sharks showed off their grit and toughness. It started on a power play they earned a little less than midway through where Patrick Marleau ended up getting a penalty for taking multiple cross-checks and slashes. While he got the penalty for doing nothing you gotta love his willingness to stand in front and pay the price. In fact on the very next shift it was T.J. Galiardi who was getting hacked in front and he ended up getting a goal for paying the price.
The biggest save of the period came when Antti Niemi stopped a partial breakaway while the Sharks were on their second power play of the period to keep the two-goal San Jose lead.
Toward the end of the game it got VERY chippy. Minnesota started putting the pressure on in the second half of the period but the defense and Niemi hung tough. At the end of the game the Wild also got a power play and a chance to get back in the game. They ended up pulling Backstrom for the six-on-four power play. What came next was utter mayhem in the crease for the final minute of play but somehow the puck never went into the net. In the end the Sharks took home the 4-2 victory and remain undefeated on this home stand.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Martin Havlat (1 goal, 1 assist)
2. Joe Thornton (1 goal, 1 assist)
3. Brent Burns (2 assists)