San Jose Sharks Outplayed By Wild, Fall In Shootout


The San Jose Sharks continued their road-heavy schedule this evening against the Minnesota Wild and fell in the shootout by the final of 4-3. The Sharks held two-goal leads twice throughout the game, but each time the Wild fought back to tie it before grabbing the win in the shootout.

This evening Barclay Goodrow made his regular season NHL debut with the San Jose Sharks and played pretty well making key defensive plays as well as working hard along the boards in the offensive end. Goodrow had previously been held out with a minor injury that he suffered during the preseason.

It was the Sharks who struck first in the first period when rookie Mirco Mueller scored his first career NHL goal. Mueller was just keeping it simple by firing a puck on net from the half-boards towards teammate Chris Tierny who was in front of the net. Mueller was the beneficiary of a fortuitous bounce as the puck deflected off a Minnesota defenseman and passed goaltender Darcy Kuemper to make it 1-0 San Jose.

In the second period Tommy Wingels picked up his fifth goal of the season to make it 2-0 Sharks after Brent Burns forced a turnover in the offensive zone while San Jose was on the power play. Wingels picked up the loose puck just below the faceoff dot and quickly fired the puck on net to score. That was the first power play goal Minnesota had given up all season on home ice.

The Wild struck back shortly after with a goal of their own off the stick of Mikko Koivu on a tip-in as he was driving the net. Teammate Jason Zucker fed Koivu from the goal line and just like that it was 2-1.

From there until the end of the period Wild controlled the play and put San Jose Sharks goaltender Antti Niemi under all kinds of duress. Niemi held up well even though and through two periods he had faced 34 shots. In the period the Wild outshot the Sharks 19-5 in what was a pretty lopsided stanza.

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In the third period Minnesota came out firing again and was just inches from tying the game when Zucker rang a shot off the crossbar.

Instead it was the Sharks who regained their two-goal lead when Joe Thornton scored his third goal of the season on a wrister. Joe Pavelski made a great play by intercepting a pass near the blue line and led the two-on-one rush before feeding Thornton to make it 3-1.

The Wild once again had an answer though on a pretty ugly defensive breakdown by San Jose. Thomas Vanek received a puck in the high slot on the rush, was wide open, then fed a wide open Kyle Brodziak in the front of the net who deflected the pass passed Niemi to make it 3-2.

About five minutes later the same two hooked up to tie the game at three when Vanek drove wide this time and fed a pass to Brodziak crashing the net. Mueller, who was covering Brodziak, lost his man in front of the net and the San Jose Sharks paid for it.

Eventually, after a pretty frantic pace and some quality chances for both James Sheppard and Wingels to seal the deal, the game would head to overtime.

In the overtime period the frantic pace continued and things went back and forth with both teams getting chances. The best chance in the game came with just over one minute left in the overtime period when Brent Burns drove the net and fired a shot from in tight that eventually trickled in the net. The goal, which was originally waived off, was reviewed and the call was confirmed due in part to Burns making contact with Keumper before the puck crossed the goal line.

The game went to a shootout where the Wild outscored San Jose 2-1 on goals by  Koivu and Jason Pominville while Logan Couture was the only Shark to score. Thus, the Wild picked up the 4-3 shootout victory.

This loss means the Sharks end their short three-game road trip with two wins and a shootout loss. In total they grabbed five of six point against three tough opponents. Next up San Jose heads home to face the New York Islanders who they lost to earlier this season in New York.

GGS 3 Stars
1. Kyle Brodziak, MIN (2 goals)
2. Thomas Vanek, MIN (2 assists)
3. Antti Niemi, SJ (43 saves)