Wild fall to Sharks, drop fifth straight road game
Sharks center Joe Pavelski scored two power-play goals, as the Wild lost their fifth straight road game.
By ASSOCIATED PRESSFS North
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.