Photo credit: @GettySport
By Matthew Harrington
The San Jose Sharks beat the visiting Minnesota Wild 4-3 in a shootout after Erik Karlsson beat Cam Talbot ion a slapshot in the eighth round of the skills competition to cap a big night for the former Norris Trophy winner. Patrick Marleau appeared in his 1,757th career game, passing Mark Messier for second all-time and trailing Gordie Howe by just 10. Erik Karlsson scored a pair, fellow d-man Radim Simek potted one as well and the youthful couplet of Ryan Donato, John Leonard and Dylan Gambrell combined for four assists. Kevin Fiala scored a pair for the Wild and Nick Bonino struck for a mark as well. The Sharks (14-16-4) dominated on the shot counter, flinging 39 pucks on netminder Cam Talbot, while Martin Jones saw 25 shots in the San Jose net.
The Wild (21-10-2) scored first after Ryan Hartman screened Jones in a broken play that had the Sharks scrambling in their own end. Marcus Johansson had easy pickings with the screen, beating Jones for his fourth goal of the year 12:41 into play.
The Sharks answered back with a screen of their own when Radim Simek’s point shot appeared to kick off Dylan Gambrell or Jonas Brodin with 3:56 left in the period. Ex-Wild Ryan Donato and John Leonard assisted on the goal, leaving Gambrell, who also led the rush down the ice, pointless on the play.
Nick Bonino gave the Wild the lead just a minute before the first intermission after Joel Eriksson Ek first put Nikolai Knyzhov on a poster He toe dragged around the defense after Knyzhov went for an agressive poke check, giving Eriksson Ek the clear path to a 2-on-1 with Bonino. Bonino buried the tic-tac-goal on the cross-crease pass.
Karlsson scored his first of the game with 4:15 left in the second period after burying a 2-on-1 pass from Evander Kane. Kane blocked a shot in the Sharks end to start the rush and Karlsson saw the play developing and went full speed ahead to the Wild zone to finish the play.
4:11 into the third, Karlsson fired a rocket that hit the inside of the post, then the camera imbedded in the net on a point shot to give the Sharks the then 3-2. Donato and Gambrell assisted on the goal, Karlsson’s 4th of the year. Karlsson hadn’t had a two-goal regular season game since December 19th, 2017, his last season with the Ottawa Senators. Gambrell again was screening Talbot and this time nabbed an assist.
Fiala tied the game 9:48 into the third when Matt Dumba fed him with a puck that found a seam through the slot. Fiala was waiting a stride outside the crease to bury the tying goal and push his season total to double-digits with 10 goals.
The two teams meet again Wednesday night at the SAP Center. Presumably rookie phenom Kappo Kähkönen will be in net for former Shark Dean Evason, while former Wild tender Devan Dubnyk may get his turn in the Sharks net.
Notes: Jeffrey Viel made his NHL debut, playing 7:28 and registering two hits. He got on the scoresheet, dropping the gloves with Minnesota’s Luke Johnson 2:57 into the game. It was also Johnson’s first career fight. Viel came out the clear winner….Jared Spurgeon appeared to score in overtime, but his touch came above the crossbar for a quick no-goal call on the ice…Evander Kane’s assist broke a tie for the team lead with Timo Meier. Both players had 15 entering play…Marleau centered the fourth line with Viel and Marcus Sorensen on his flanks….The Sharks didn’t commit a minor penalty in regulation and only went on the power play once…The Wild hadn’t gone to the shootout entering play Monday night…Prior to the game, the Sharks moved Matt Nieto to the IR. He hasn’t appeared in a game since March 19th.