The Minnesota Wild had two two-goal leads, but needed a shootout to defeat the San Jose Sharks 5-4 Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
Matt Cullen scored his 11th goal of the season for the Wild’s fourth goal of the game after Casey Wellman poked a loose puck off his leg with six minutes and 40 seconds remaining in the third period to give the Wild a 4-2 lead.
“A huge accomplishment for him to play in his 1,000th game,” Mike Yeo said. “To do it in the style he did warrants a great deal of discussion.”
However, the Sharks came back with two goals 22 seconds apart in the final five minutes to send the game to overtime.
Cal Clutterbuck got the Wild (22-15-6) on the board first with a wrist shot over the glove of Antti Niemi, who fought the puck the entire first period, seven minutes and four seconds into the game. Wellman recorded the first assist with a pass across the blue line to Clutterbuck. Marek Zidlicky got the rush started with a pass to Wellman.
David McIntyre recorded his first career point in his first game of his second call-up of the season.
McIntyre fed the point where Justin Falk took a shot that deflected off Warren Peters and a Sharks defender before sneaking across the goal line late in the second period. Peters was credited with his first goal of the season.
Falk later recorded his two assist game of the season by starting a break out to Dany Heatley. Heatley got the puck ahead to Nick Johnson who fired a shot under the glove of Niemi from about the same spot as Clutterbuck’s goal.
It is the 16th time this season the Wild scored first, easily fewest in the NHL.
The Sharks (23-11-5) got on the board with a 5-on-3 power play goal thanks to two gift penalties four seconds apart. The first questionable call came on Jared Spurgeon, who was called for closing his hand on the puck, even though the puck never went into his hands. Spurgeon tried to stop a bounding puck and had it roll up his arm and get stuck in his mid-section as he was getting hacked by a Shark player.
The second questionable call came on Kyle Brodziak, who slashed Joe Thornton right off the face. Brodziak deserved a penalty, but so did Thornton for diving. Thornton did not go down right away, kneeled on the ice like he was hurt and got up laughing.
Shark defenseman Dan Boyle ripped a one-timer in slot through traffic and through Josh Harding early in the two-man advantage.
The Wild, already missing Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse, scratched Devin Setoguchi due to a violation of team rules. Yeo would not specify the team rule.
“It was not an easy decision,” Yeo said. “Especially, how valuable he is to our team. We all have to be held accountable. He is still a guy that cares very much. He is a good person. Tomorrow is a clean slate.”
No. 3 – Cal Clutterbuck. The Wild forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 2 – Dan Boyle. The Sharks defenseman recorded a goal and two assists
No. 1 – Matt Cullen. The Wild forward scored a goal.
San Jose 1 0 3 – 4
Minnesota 1 1 2 – 4
First Period – 1, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 11 (Wellman, Zidlicky), 7:04. 2, San Jose, Boyle 3 (Marleau, Thornton), 16:08 (pp). Penalties – Bench, SJ (too many men; served by McGinn), 11:05; Spurgeon, Min (closing hand on puck), 15:20; Brodziak, Min (slashing), 15:24.
Second Period – 3, Minnesota, Peters 1 (Falk, McIntyre), 13:26. Penalties – Vlasic, SJ (tripping), 10:08; McGinn, SJ (roughing; served by Winchester), 13:39; Clutterbuck, Min (roughing), 13:39; Desjardins, SJ (boarding), 18:10.
Third Period – 4, Minnesota, Johnson 5 (Heatley, Falk), 7:42. 5, San Jose, Ferriero 5 (Vlasic, Boyle), 9:47. 6, Minnesota, Cullen 11 (Wellman, Clutterbuck), 13:40. 7, San Jose, Couture 17 (Burns, Boyle), 16:54. 8, San Jose, Marleau 16 (Thornton, Pavelski), 17:16. Penalties – McIntyre, Min (hooking), 2:33.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shots on goal – San Jose 8-7-18-5 38. Minnesota 10-11-8-2 31.
Shootout – San Jose Handzus (save), Clowe (save). Minnesota Cullen (goal), Koivu (goal).
Goalies – San Jose, Niemi (27-31). Minnesota, Harding (34-38). A – 18,986. Referees – Mike Hasenfratz, Kevin Pollock. Linesmen – Bryan Pancich, Ryan Galloway.