Wild’s series of rallies falls short in 4-3 loss to Sharks
SAN JOSE, Calif. The Wild didnt let the Sharks run up the shot clock.
Players stayed out of the penalty box, and they capitalized when they were awarded an extra attacker.
But that diligence still wasnt enough to outlast the Sharks, who held on for a 4-3 victory Tuesday night in front of 15,853 at SAP Center to hand the Wild only its second loss in its past nine games a buzzkill at the outset of three in a row in California and the final four games of a franchise-record seven consecutive on the road.
Sharks winger Barclay Goodrow deflected former Wild defenseman Brent Burns shot 7 minutes, 25 seconds into the third period to resolve a 3-3 tie and snuff out the Wilds valiant attempt at a comeback that included a pair of goals in the final frame.
Such might be the margin of error when facing a squad such as San Jose, which entered the game with only one less victory than the Wild and is billed as a Stanley Cup contender.
But this also wasnt the same Wild lineup that had rattled off a 7-1 run.
Center Eric Staal did not play because of illness, the first game hes missed as a member of the Wild.
Staals absence ended his streak of consecutive games played at 335; this was the first time hed been idle since he was out for five games because of an upper-body injury Oct. 14-24, 2014, with the Hurricanes.
Defenseman Matt Dumba now holds the Wilds active ironman record at 113 games.
With Staal unavailable, the Wild ushered in veteran Matt Hendricks his first appearance since he suffered a lower-body injury Oct. 16 against the Coyotes.
The team also mixed up its lines, and the new look didnt pick up where the old one left off in a 5-1 victory over the Blues on Saturday in St. Louis.
Actually, despite outshooting the Sharks 8-2 in the first period, it was the Wild that entered intermission in a hole.
San Jose converted on its first shot of the game only 4 minutes, 47 seconds after puck drop when winger Marcus Sorensen got loose near the back post and had enough time to settle a feed from Burns and sling it into a mostly empty net with goalie Devan Dubnyk guarding the other direction.
The less-is-more approach also helped the Sharks grow their lead in the second, going up 2-0 on only their ninth shot of the game.
This time, center Joe Thornton deflected in a Sorensen shot at 5:36 sending the puck flying just under the crossbar.
Later in the period, the Wild finally converted on the power play.
After whacking his stick while posting up in front of the net as a screen, winger Zach Parise finally received the puck and buried a rebound from a Nino Niederreiter shot past Sharks goalie Martin Jones at 12:56.
The goal was Parises 100th of his career on the power play, and he became the 15th active skater and the third Minnesota-born player to reach the milestone.
Overall, the Wild finished 1-for-2 with the man advantage while the Sharks didnt receive a single power play.
Before the second period ended, though, the Sharks reinstated their two-goal cushion. And once again, Sorensen was involved.
He set up center Antti Suomela for a breakaway, and Suomela lifted the puck by Dubnyk with his backhand at 17:08.
Like theyve been most of the season, Wild players remained resilient and pulled within one early in the third.
Only 1:22 into the frame, defenseman Jared Spurgeon wove a shot through traffic and behind Jones.
And just 2:05 after that, defenseman Matt Dumba tied the score at 3 with his fifth goal of the season.