San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Logan Couture posted two goals and two assists
as the San Jose Sharks thumped the Minnesota Wild, 6-1, on Thursday.
With the win, San Jose kept pace with Los Angeles in the chase for the fourth
playoff seed in the Western Conference. Both teams have 55 points, but Los
Angeles has more regulation and overtime wins to hold the tiebreaker. Also,
the two clubs trail Anaheim by five points for first place in the Pacific
Division and second in the conference, but the Ducks have a game in hand on
the Kings and Sharks.
Martin Havlat had two goals and an assist while Raffi Torres and Joe Pavelski
each added a goal and an assist for the Sharks, who have won three of four.
Antti Niemi made 26 stops in the win.
Pierre-march Bouchard scored the lone goal of the game for the Wild, who had a
two-game winning streak snapped. Niklas Backstrom was pulled in the third
period after giving up five goals on 27 shots. Darcy Kuemper played the final
15-plus minutes in net and gave up a goal on two shots faced.
Minnesota fell to the seventh spot in the Western Conference after St. Louis
defeated Phoenix on Thursday. With 51 points, Minnesota is one back of St.
Louis and two ahead of Columbus.
San Jose caught a lucky break to get the first goal of the game as Havlat
threw the puck on net from the right wing and it went off the stick of
Minnesota's Mikko Koivu and into the net at the 7:42 mark of the first.
The Sharks made it a 2-0 game 5:29 into the second on the power play as
Patrick Marleau sent a pass from the right side to the front where Couture
one-timed it home.
Minnesota got one back four minutes later as Bouchard lifted a backhander over
Niemi to cap a breakaway, but the Sharks got it back with 5:28 to play in the
second as Couture leaped along the right corner boards to get the puck and
centered it for a one-timer by Havlat to make it a 3-1 game.
Just 3:59 into the third, the Sharks took a 4-1 lead as Torres flew down the
left wing and went behind the net before wrapping it in from the right side
for his first goal as a Shark.
Pavelski wristed the puck home from the slot off a broken play just 22 seconds
later to chase Backstrom from the net.
Couture netted his second of the game with 10:45 to play with a slap shot from
Minnesota hosts Calgary on Sunday ... San Jose plays in Columbus on Sunday ...
The Sharks took two of three from the Wild this season ... San Jose scored on
its only power play while Minnesota didn't have a single man advantage.
The Sports Network