Big night by Karlsson lifts Sharks past Minnesota 5-2

San Jose Sharks center Noah Gregor is congratulated for his goal against the Minnesota Wild during the first period at SAP Center in San Jose on Thu Dec 22, 2022 (AP News photo)

By Daniel Dullum
Thursday, December 22, 2022

Defenseman Erik Karlsson had a goal and three assists for San Jose Thursday, and was one of seven different goal scorers for the Sharks in a 5-2 win over Minnesota at SAP Center.

Karlsson, Timo Meier, Kevin Lebanc, Oskar Lindblom and Noah Gregor each tallied for the Sharks, while goaltender James Reimer stopped 24 of 26 Wild shots. Karlsson’s three helpers gives him a team-leading 33 in that category.

San Jose, 7th in the Pacific, improved to 11-18-6, 28 points. The Wild, third in the NHL Central, are 19-12-2, 40 points, and tied with Seattle for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference.

The Sharks opened the scoring 44 seconds into the first period on Karlsson’s 13th goal of the season, assisted by Jaycob Megna and Alexander Barabanov.

Joel Eriksson Ek tied the game at 1-1 for Minnesota with his 12th goal, coming at 2:20, Gregor’s second goal of the season at 11:37 gave San Jose a 2-1 lead at the first intermission.

Meier’s 16th goal of the season, a power-play tally, came at 12:47 of the second period, assisted by Karlsson and Nick Bonino. Prior to Meier’s goal, Mason Shaw of the Wild was serving a 5-minute major for kneeing, in addition to receiving a game misconduct penalty.

The Sharks extended their lead to 4-1 five minutes later on Lindblom’s second goal of the season, from Karlsson and Meier.

Mats Zuccarello pulled Minnesota to within 4-2 with his 15th goal, six seconds b3fore the second intermission.

Labanc closed out the scoring with an unassisted power-play empty net goal at 19:46 of the third period. Minnesota’s Matt Boldy was serving a 2-minute minor for slashing at the time of Labanc’s goal.

Filip Gustavsson gave up four of San Jose’s goals while stopping 20 of 24 shots.

After a break for the Christmas holiday, the Sharks return to action on Dec. 27 in Vancouver.

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