NHL Game Summary - San Jose at Minnesota
(Wednesday, October 19th)
Final Score: Minnesota 6, San Jose 1
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Marian Gaborik had two assists in his season debut, and Minnesota scored five third-period goals to break open a tie contest and crush the San Jose Sharks, 6-1, at Xcel Energy Center.
Willie Mitchell, Derek Boogaard, Marc Chouinard, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Todd White and Filip Kuba all tallied goals and Manny Fernandez made 34 saves for Minnesota, which has won three of its last four games. The five-goal explosion set a club record for most goals in one period.
Gaborik, who had 18 goals and 22 assists in 65 games in 2003-04, did not play in the preseason and missed the first six games of the regular season because of a pulled groin.
"It felt good," Gaborik said. "I was a little but nervous in the beginning - I haven't played here for a couple of years, especially at home, and the first five minutes I was kind of looking around but then I started to skate and felt good."
Niko Dimitrakos had the Sharks' only goal and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 19 of 25 shots for San Jose, which lost its second straight game after winning three straight.
"We had a ton of scoring chances but we didn't bury our chances,"said Sharks' head coach Ron Wilson. "The fault lies with us partly and you have to credit Fernandez. He played well. We hit the post a couple of times and we also shot the puck into him a number of times."
Minnesota got on the scoreboard with 5:18 left in the first period after Gaborik gained the blue line and skated in behind the Sharks' net. Gaborik shoveled a backhand pass into the slot that found Mitchell, who was trailing the play. Mitchell beat Nabokov glove side for a 1-0 lead.
San Jose got the equalizer late in the second period after Marcel Goc blasted a slap shot off the chest of Fernandez. The rebound kicked out to the left circle, where Dimitrakos flipped a backhand on net. The puck deflected off a Minnesota defenseman's glove and past Fernandez.
The Wild regained the lead with 2:10 gone in the third period after Boogaard notched his first career NHL goal. Boogaard charged the net, picked up a loose puck and jammed it past Nabokov.
Chouinard made it 3-1 just over two minutes later after he blocked a Scott Hannan shot from the point, picked up the loose puck and went in on a breakaway. Chouinard slipped the puck between Nabokov's legs for a shorthanded goal.
Minnesota extended its lead with 8:03 gone in the third after Brian Rolston swooped behind the Sharks' net and tried to stuff a forehand past Nabokov, Nabokov made the save, but the rebound squirted out to Bouchard in the right circle, and he slapped the puck into the gaping net.
The Wild pushed their lead to 5-1 with 6:47 left in the game after White gained the blue line, split two Sharks' defenders but had the puck poke- checked away by Nabokov. Alexandre Daigle fired a slap shot back on goal that White deflected by Nabokov to put Minnesota up by four.
Minnesota continued to extend its lead in the third after White slipped a pass to Kuba at the blue line and he fired a wrist shot that cleanly beat Nabokov glove side.
Minnesota took the lead in the all-time series 8-7-2...Minnesota improved to 4-1-0 at home... Sharks center Patrick Marleau had his four-game point streak snapped...Minnesota has prevented opponents from scoring on 43 of 45 power plays...The Wild have scored first in six of their seven games this season and have held the lead in every game they've played...White notched his 100th career assist on Bouchard's tally. White finished the game with two helpers...Bouchard has scored a goal in four consecutive games, tying a club record.
10/19 23:01:04 ET