Sharks 3, Wild 1
Torrey Mitchell and Devin Setoguchi went out to dinner together one night before facing off against each other. Once they hit the ice, it was all business for the two former teammates.
Patrick Marleau scored two power-play goals in the second period, and the San Jose Sharks snapped Minnesota's five-game winning streak with a 3-1 victory over the Wild on Thursday night.
Mitchell also scored in the second period for the Sharks, who have won eight of nine. Antii Niemi stopped 21 shots and remained undefeated in four games against the Wild.
''We did a little chirping out there, but it was all in fun,'' said Mitchell, who scored his first goal of the season following a suggestion from Michal Handzus. ''Handzus is so good on faceoffs. I guess he saw something because he told me to line up at a certain spot and one-time it. I said, 'Yes, sir!' It worked out great.''
Mitchell scored straight off a faceoff, won to the right by Handzus with 1:21 remaining in the second, to give the Sharks a 3-0 lead.
Kyle Brodziak scored Minnesota's lone goal.
Niklas Backstrom, who recorded his first shutout of the season in a 3-0 win at Calgary on Tuesday, made 33 saves but fell to 1-6-1 in San Jose.
''They scored two power-play goals, and that was the difference,'' Backstrom said. ''We played OK but I know we can play a lot better. We have to learn from that and move on.''
Dany Heatley and Setoguchi combined for one shot in their first visit to San Jose since being traded to the Wild in separate deals for Brent Burns and Martin Havlat.
''You know the first one is going to be weird,'' Burns said. ''It was good to get the first one out of the way and get the two points.''
The Wild will return to San Jose in December before the Sharks visit Minnesota twice.
Marleau scored his first goal after taking the puck off the stick of Wild defender Justin Falk and firing it past a surprised Backstrom.
''If you keep taking penalties and giving them chances, eventually they are going to score,'' Heatley said. ''They have a good power play over there and they made us pay a couple of times.''
Dan Boyle took a shot from the center line, with Backstrom making an easy stick save. There then appeared to be miscommunication as Backstrom tried to pass it easily to Falk, but Marleau came in full speed for the goal.
''We got a lucky break on the first one,'' Marleau said. ''I think they misplayed it a little bit. Boyle dropped it on the net and it was laying right there.''
Marleau scored again 13 minutes later when he took advantage of Ryane Clowe's no-look pass to his stick and fired a shot past Backstrom for his 52nd career multigoal game.
''There are two glaring differences in the game between our team and their team,'' Wild coach Mike Yeo said. ''One is the discipline. We took more penalties than they did. The second was they were much stronger on the puck than we were.''
The Wild scored with less than seven minutes remaining when Brodziak took a nice pass from Marek Zidlicky and easily beat Niemi.
NOTES: The Wild killed 23 consecutive short-handed situations before allowing two goals in two power plays in the second period. ... Marleau has 12 points in nine games. ... The Sharks scored two power-play goals in a game for the third time. ... Clowe has a four-game point streak. ... Heatley and Setoguchi were given a nice hand from the sellout crowd. ... Wild F Cal Clutterbuck (upper body) returned to the lineup after missing Tuesday's game. ... The Sharks are 9-0-1 in their last 10 home games against the Wild.