A lot of things that were going wrong lately went right Thursday night as the Sharks stopped their losing streak at four games with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild. Twice in that skid, San Jose failed to protect two-goal leads. This time, San Jose built its lead to three goals for a little more breathing room to help goalie Antti Niemi earn his 17th win of the season. "Kind of like déjà vu. We go up 2-0 in the first, and I thought we responded a lot better," Logan Couture said. "We were able to get a win we really needed." And all three of the San Jose goals -- two by Joe Pavelski sandwiched around one by Tomas Hertl -- came on a power play that was much-maligned by coach Todd McLellan after his team lost to the same Wild by the same score Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center. "The one thing they got back was their work ethic for the most part," McLellan said of his power play unit. "You start there, and you can certainly build off it. A 'three-for' night is certainly a good night, a night that we'll take, and it obviously won us the game." The Sharks had their 2-0 lead before the end of the first period on goals by Pavelski and Hertl, with Pavelski adding another in the middle period. A goal by Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin with 7:24 left in the game was the only one of 30 shots to get past Niemi. Special teams clearly made the difference in this one as the Sharks ended up 3 for 7 with the man advantage after going 1 for 13 during the losing streak. But the fact San Jose had seven power play chances to three for the Wild had Minnesota coach Mike Yeo accusing the Sharks of embellishment. "It must be nice to draw penalties like that," Yeo said. "Make sure you look at the first penalty. Because to me, that's embarrassing. I guess we've got to ask our players to embellish more." That first penalty saw Wild forward Justin Fontaine off for high-sticking Brad Stuart, with San Jose going ahead 1-0 on Pavelski's one-timer from the top of the left faceoff circle at 5:54.
San Jose Sharks put end to four-game slide
San Jose Mercury News | Dec 13