The San Jose Sharks (34-12-6, 74 points) defeated the Minnesota Wild (28-20-6, 62 points) by the final score of 3-2 in overtime. This is San Jose’s sixth-straight and are officially the hottest team in the NHL right now.
It was a great came for anyone on the San Jose Sharks who signed a contract yesterday. I’m talking of course about Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau who both officially announced their three-year contract extensions after with the Sharks.
Also offensively the Sharks were the more dominant team as they outshot the Wild 32-22 and won 69% of their draws. Matt Irwin also had a great game with two assists along with Joe Pavelski who continues to stay hot.
In the first period the San Jose Sharks would come out firing on all cylinders as they dominated the game early. They were generating chances and getting plenty of pucks to the net, essentially doing everything but scoring.
Unfortunately scoring is the only thing that matters in the end and it was the Wild who were able to get on the board first after Matt Cooke intercepted an errand Joe Thornton pass at center ice. Cooke tipped the puck to himself and created a breakaway on which he scored on Antti Niemi. From that point on Minnesota was clearly the stronger team as they had all the momentum until the period ended. Mike Brown did his best to give the Sharks a jolt of energy late in the period when he got into a fight with Clayton Stoner.
In the second period the Wild would extend their lead to 2-0 on Keith Ballard’s first goal of the season 4:16 into the period. Ballard’s shot was actually not well placed and one that Niemi probably wants back after if ramped off his stick and into the net. Still though, the defensive coverage could have been much better as Ballard snuck in from the blue-line and the Sharks got caught puck watching.
Finally though San Jose would get on the board with not one, but two goals in a span of 49 seconds. San Jose’s first goal, which came a little past the midway point of the second period on a Joe Thornton one-timer from the slot after a great feed from Joe Pavelski from behind the net.
Immediately following that goal the Sharks would strike again, this time with Patrick Marleau firing a one-timer by Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper after a pass from linemate Tommy Wingels. From then until the end of the period it was San Jose who had all the momentum much like Minnesota did at the end of the first period.
In the third period both teams tightened up defensively and the momentum the San Jose Sharks gained at the end of the second period was no longer there. Minnesota goaltender Keumper made arguably the best save of the night off of Dan Boyle who was robbed by a kick save on a one-timer from point-blank range after he headed to the net from the point. The Sharks also had a chance early on the power play but were unable to capitalize. The game ended up going to overtime.
In the overtime period things definitely opened up with both the Wild and Sharks getting great scoring chances. The one that matter though came with 2:30 left in overtime when the captain took a puck from Pavelski who entered the zone and just ripped a slapshot from the top of the right circle and by Keumper.
GGS 3 Stars
1. Joe Thornton (2 goals)
2. Patrick Marleau (1 goal)
3. Matt Irwin (2 assists)