Photo credit: @SanJoseSharks
By Matthew Harrington
First, the positives for the San Jose Sharks after Thursday night’s game at home against the Minnesota Wild: With a 6-5 win, San Jose now has its second multi-game win streak of the season. The negative; it wasn’t all that convincing.
After two periods of play, the Sharks held a commanding lead, but if not for a miraculous toe-save by Martin Jones on Zach Paries the game would have gone to overtime. Lowly Minnesota scored three unanswered goals to make Sharks fans sweat the third period out. Martin Jones made 21 saves on 26 shots and Logan Couture appears to be shaking off an early season funk with just his second goal of the campaign and a confidence building four-point night. Tomas Hertl had three points and Radim Simek picked up his first goal since returning to the Sharks in their previous game.
Eric Staal had a goal and an assist for the Wild and Luke Kunin had two points. Former Shark Alex Stalock made just eight saves on 12 Sharks goals before being pulled after a four-goal first period.
Couture, in the longest scoring slump of his career, opened the scoring 52 seconds into the game, then Timo Meier made the Sharks lead 2-0 just under six minutes in. Marcus Sorensen notched his third goal of the year and Radim Simek scored on a slap shot, all in the final five minutes of the period to run the score up 4-0 after 20 minutes.
Kunin would score late in the second at the 15:51 mark, but Tomas Hertl’s sixth goal of the season would seemingly give San Jose breathing room on the power play. The second closed out with a flurry though as Staal and Evander Kane traded power play goals in the final 2+ minutes for the 6-2 Sharks edge.
Brad Hunt’s wrist shot 8:07 into the third cut the Sharks lead in half, then 1:13 later Ryan Donato’s 1st goal of the year made it 6-4. Jason Zucker’s 5th goal of the season with 4:35 left in regulation cut the lead to just one, and a turnover that led to a Zach Parise one-on-zero seemed like it’d tie the game.
A down but not out Jones made the save and his defenders cleared the puck and a mad dash with the extra attacker for Minnesota proved for naught as the Sharks held on for the win. They’ll look to match a season-high win streak of three games when they take the ice Saturday at home against the Nashville Predators.