San Jose Sharks end nine-game road trip with another loss after 4-3 defeat to Minnesota Wild - NHL Update
San Jose Sharks faced another rough night on the road as they lost 4-3 to Minnesota Wild on Sunday, February 26th, 2012 at the Xcel Energy Center in Minnesota.
It was another poor display by the Sharks as they ended a nine-game away run at Minnesota.
The Sharks, have now dropped down to seventh in the Western Conference with 71-points after losing six of their last seven games.
San Jose simply imploded in the third period. Taking the lead for the second time in the game, the Sharks were up 3-2 in the third period but collapsed late on as the Wild equalised and then took the lead right at the death to win the game.
Left wing Jamie McGinn was distraught with the loss and speaking to the media afterwards felt that it is high time for San Jose to buck up and return back to winning ways.
"We need to do a better job of taking our men and closing out games. We just didn't finish it off tonight. It's going to be a long flight home. We'll do some stewing about it tomorrow and probably do some video, but you know we have to get back at home here
and get back on the winning side because it's playoff hockey right now."
The win keeps Minnesota Wild in the playoff picture as they move up to 12th in the Western Conference with 65 points, trailing eighth placed Dallas Stars by five points.
Minnesota showed amazing confidence in their ability and kept calm throughout the game coming back twice from behind to win the game.
Wild coach Mike Yeo was happy with his team’s performance and told media afterwards that he told his players to forget about their place in the conference and just express themselves on the rink.
"The message before the game was forget standings, forget wins and losses even. Let's get back to playing our game,"
The Sharks started brightly as they looked to end a torrid nine-game road trip with a win. For the early part of the game it seemed they would do just that.
Tommy Wingels put San Jose ahead just one minute from the start beating Minnesota goaltender Niklas Backstrom with a good finish and just two minutes later captain Joe Thornton doubled the advantage.
Outshot by 12-7, the Wild did not give up however, and their efforts were rewarded at 9:13. Cal Clutterbuck with a wonderful solo effort pegged back the Sharks lead to just a single goal and got Minnesota back in the game.
Minnesota equalised early in the second period with Nick Schultz scoring on the power play for his first goal of the season.
The Wild then went on to boss the second period as the Sharks could not get the puck from their opponents and only Thomas Greiss’ efforts in front of goal helped keep the Sharks in the game.
Minnesota outshot their opponents 13-2 but could not take advantage of their dominance as the score remained level at 2-2.
San Jose regained the advantage in the third period through Brent Burns power play goal at 8:45 and it seemed the Sharks might just manage to hold on to the lead.
That however, was not the case as Minnesota fought back.
Matt Cullen equalised at 14:33 for Minnesota and a minute later Jed Ortmeyer the winner and his first goal of the season which he will not soon forget.
Minnesota kept the Sharks out for the remainder of the game to send San Jose home with another defeat.
The Sharks will look to put behind their misery on the road when they face Philadelphia Flyers at home ice on Tuesday, while Minnesota will look to continue their push for the playoffs against Los Angeles Kings.