EditorsNote: Updates to Wild losing 6 of last 7 road games in graf 3; clarifies Couture’s slump was goals not points in graf 7; other minor edits
Logan Couture had a goal and three assists as the San Jose Sharks grabbed a four-goal lead then held on to defeat the visiting Minnesota Wild 6-5 on Thursday night.
Tomas Hertl added a goal and two assists and Marcus Sorensen, Timo Meier and Evander Kane each had a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who won their second game in a row and improved to 2-2-0 on their six-game homestand. Defenseman Radim Simek also scored for San Jose and goaltender Martin Jones made 21 saves, including two stops on a breakaway by Minnesota’s Zach Parise with 2:12 remaining to preserve the victory.
Luke Kunin, Eric Staal, Brad Hunt, Ryan Donato and Jason Zucker scored for Minnesota, which has lost six of its past seven road games.
On Tuesday, the Sharks snapped a five-game losing streak with a 4-2 victory over Chicago.
They carried over the momentum to Thursday, taking a 4-0 lead in the first period and knocking out Wild goaltender Alex Stalock, who started his career in San Jose. Stalock stopped just eight of 12 shots in the first and was replaced by Devan Dubnyk between periods.
The Wild had allowed a league-low eight first-period goals entering the game.
Couture, who took over the Sharks’ captaincy this fall after Joe Pavelski’s offseason departure for Dallas, opened the scoring just 52 seconds into the game. Kane controlled the puck behind the Minnesota net and found an open Couture at the top of the crease, who poked the puck past Stalock. It was Couture’s second goal of the season and snapped a 13-game goal-less streak.
Meier made it 2-0 at 5:55 on a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle. Sorensen scored on a one-timer off a deflected pass at 16:40 and Simek converted as the trailer on a four-on-two break at 18:32.
It remained 4-0 until Kunin scored at 15:51 of the second, sparking a four-goal flurry — two by each team.
Staal’s goal increased his points streak to six games (four goals, five assists).
Hunt and Donato scored in a 1:14 span midway through the third period to pull the Wild within 6-4.
Shortly after the Wild killed off a major penalty for slashing, Zucker scored at 15:25 to make it a one-goal game.
—Field Level Media