Wild fall to Sharks, drop fifth straight road game

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Joe Pavelski scored two power-play

goals, and the San Jose 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 into the net

past Backstrom.

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.

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 assists 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.

NOTES: The Wild recalled F Brett Bulmer from the Iowa Wild.

. The Sharks held their opponent scoreless in the first period for the sixth

straight game. . The Wild dropped to 1-8 in their last nine games in San Jose.

. Thornton moved into a tie for 49th place on the NHL career points list with

Michel Goulet with 1,152 points. . Pavelski has 11 goals in 17 games against

the Wild. . Sharks D Scott Hannan missed his second game with an upper-body

injury. . The Wild have allowed the first goal in eight consecutive road games.