Niederreiter buries game-winner, gives Wild second straight OT victory
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Nino Niederreiter was frustrated at losing the puck during overtime. Once he got it back, he wasn’t going to let another opportunity pass.
Niederreiter scored 3:26 into the extra period and the Minnesota Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Sunday night after squandering a three-goal lead.
Eric Staal scored twice and Ryan Murphy added a goal as the Wild extended their winning streak over the Sharks to four games.
“It’s always ideal when you can get a lead, especially on the road,” Staal said. “Special teams gave them a lot of momentum and they made some good plays but we stuck with it to get the two points.”
Tomas Hertl tapped in a loose puck for San Jose with five minutes left in regulation to tie it at 3.
Hertl’s goal followed a furious Sharks attack that Wild goalie Alex Stalock was able to fend off until a shot from Dylan DeMelo bounced off his shoulder pads and into no man’s land just above the crease.
“We faced a barrage in the third period,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “I think goalies like that as long as they’re making the saves. It came out positive.”
Brent Burns scored twice for the Sharks, who had won five of seven.
“It’s so crazy with a big comeback,” Burns said. “It got a little exciting out there and it was still a big point.”
Stalock made 31 saves in his first appearance against his former team. Martin Jones stopped 20 shots for the Sharks.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever played against an old team,” Stalock said. “I have a lot of good friends. I can’t wait to talk to Burnsie about the second goal. He ripped it but it moved like a knuckleball.”
The Wild, winners in four of their last five games, scored twice in the first 10 minutes. A series of sharp passes set up Murphy for a power-play goal just more than four minutes in. Staal sent a pass to Jason Zucker behind the net and he found Murphy for a 1-on-1 score.
Staal’s first goal came after Ryan Suter recognized an advantage when Burns ran into Jones, knocking him off his feet. Suter delivered a pass to Staal, who easily fired it over Jones.
Early in the second period, Staal was able to push the puck through Jones’ skates for a 3-0 Wild lead.
Burns got the Sharks on the scoreboard with a power-play goal during a two-man advantage late in the second period. Burns scored again on a power play with a slap shot from just inside the blue line midway through the third, his 12th multi-goal game.
NOTES: Sharks forward Jannik Hansen appeared in his 600th NHL game. … Burns has six points in his last three games, including three goals. … Murphy scored his first goal in 69 games. … Staal had his second multi-goal effort in five games. … Zucker has points in eight of his last nine games.
Wild: Open a three-game homestand against the Calgary Flames on Tuesday.
Sharks: Begin a three-game road trip in Calgary on Wednesday.