Pavelski leads Sharks past Wild 2-1
Dec. 12, 2014
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The San Jose Sharks had little time to dwell on losing their lead before Joe Pavelski put them back ahead again.
Pavelski scored less than a minute after Minnesota tied the game early in the third period, and Alex Stalock made 18 saves against his hometown team to lead the Sharks to their seventh win in eight games, 2-1 over the Wild on Thursday night.
"They had just got one," Pavelski said. "We felt we were playing good. We couldn't revert to any other way. So we came out that next shift."
Brent Burns also scored and Joe Thornton had two assists for the Sharks, who have won five straight at home after a slow start to the season at the Shark Tank.
Christian Folin scored his first career goal to tie the game just 45 seconds before Pavelski's goal, and the Wild lost for the 10th time in their past 11 games in San Jose. Darcy Kuemper made 28 saves.
"When you give up a goal right after you score, it hurts," forward Zach Parise said. "When you come up short, something is not good enough."
After the teams combined for just one goal in the first 40 minutes, they each scored once in the opening 2 minutes of the third period.
Minnesota struck first following a weak clearing attempt from Tommy Wingels that ended up right on Folin's stick at the point. Folin's blast got through a screen from Jason Zucker to tie it.
But the Sharks answered quickly when Thornton set up Pavelski for a one-timer from the top of the circle that beat Kuemper. It was Pavelski's 15th goal of the season and sixth in eight games.
"Those two obviously have a connection," coach Todd McLellan said. "It's a goal scorer's goal. He shot it in stride. It wasn't in his wheelhouse but he still put it in the right spot."
Stalock, a native of St. Paul, Minnesota, made the lead stand up in his first game against the Wild. His best save might have come late in the third on a one-timer from Jared Spurgeon.
"There was traffic in front," Stalock said. "He had one place to shoot it, I figured, where there wasn't any traffic. I got a push over a little late but got a piece of it. Luckily enough it stayed in front of me."
The Sharks broke a scoreless tie late in the second period after Nate Prosser was sent to the penalty box for interference. Justin Braun fed Burns for a one-timer from the point that appeared to deflect off Spurgeon's stick and past Kuemper.
Despite getting only 14 shots in the first two periods, the Wild had plenty of chances earlier to get on the board but couldn't capitalize. Kyle Brodziak hit the post on an odd-man rush with Minnesota short-handed in the first period.
Logan Couture then made a couple of big defensive plays to keep the game scoreless earlier in the second, deflecting a wraparound attempt by Thomas Vanek and breaking up a 2-on-1 chance by Parise with a strong backcheck. Spurgeon passed on a chance to shoot on that rush before his pass to Parise was broken up.
"That was the story of the game," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "You're lucky enough to get one or two 2-on-1s and when we get four 2-on-1s and don't even get a shot off, that's the game."
Stalock also made a good save on Jason Pominville later in the second as the Wild failed to convert on numerous odd-man rushes.
NOTES: Thornton's two assists gave him 1,220 career points, moving past Jean Beliveau into 39th place on the NHL scoring list. ... Minnesota was without two defensemen with Marco Scandella serving the first game of a two-game suspension and Keith Ballard injured. ... San Jose D Matt Tennyson and F Chris Tierney were called up from Worcester with D Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper-body) and Fs Mike Brown (lower body) and Matt Nieto (ankle) injured.