Sharks Score 3 On Power Play To Stop Skid
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Joe Pavelski was happy with the San Jose Sharks' power-play production even if it lacked artistic value.
Pavelski scored two power-play goals, and the Sharks ended a four-game losing streak by beating the Minnesota Wild 3-1 on Thursday night.
Tomas Hertl also scored on the power play for the Sharks, who earned their first regulation victory at home since Nov. 29. Antti Niemi stopped 28 shots to record his 17th victory.
Jonas Brodin scored for the Wild, who lost their fifth straight on the road. Niklas Backstrom made 36 saves.
Backstrom fell to 1-9-1 in San Jose, and his 3.68 goals-against average there is his second-worst in any arena.
The Sharks went 3-for-7 on the power play after going 0-for-4 in a 3-1 loss to the Wild on Sunday. They scored four times in their previous 39 power plays.
San Jose took a 1-0 lead just 5:54 into the game. Pavelski got the puck from Dan Boyle on the left side and bounced a shot past Backstrom and into the net.
"It must be nice to draw penalties like that," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "The other team goes stick on puck and just kind of holds their head. The first penalty ... to me, that was embarrassing. I guess we have to ask our players to embellish more."
The Sharks added another power-play goal with 5:17 left in the first. Tommy Wingels drove down the right side, drawing the defense toward him, before dropping the puck off for Hertl, who had a clear shot into the net.
"This is why I'm upset," Yeo said. "Our guys battled hard. We didn't do enough, there's no question. We were in the box too much. We didn't finish well enough. Penalty kills, it doesn't matter how many times they dive or embellish, we have to make sure we kill them off."
During their four-game slide, the Sharks gave up a pair of two-goal leads, including Tuesday's shootout loss to the New York Islanders.
Pavelski made it 3-0 at 3:42 of the second period on another power play. Matt Irwin's shot bounced free, and Pavelski was there to drive it home.
Joe Thornton's second assist of the game put him in sole possession of 26th place on the NHL career list with 816.
Brodin scored with 7:24 remaining to bring the Wild within 3-1. His shot hit Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart and caromed past Niemi.
Ryan Suter recorded an assist for the second straight game after going the previous eight without one.
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