NHL Game Summary - Minnesota at San Jose
(Thursday, February 2nd)
Final Score: Minnesota 3, San Jose 2 (SO)
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Brian Rolston scored the only shootout goal to lift the Minnesota Wild to a 3-2 victory over San Jose at the Shark Tank.
Marian Gaborik scored on a penalty shot and Randy Robitaille added a goal for the Wild, who ended a three-game skid to win for the sixth time in their last nine overall. Manny Fernandez made 21 saves in the victory.
Cousins Joe and Scott Thornton each scored for San Jose, which has won only once in its last five games (1-2-2). Vesa Toskala posted 30 saves in the losing effort.
The Wild tied the contest at 2-2 with just over five minutes remaining in the third period to force overtime, in which neither team found the back of the net.
Both sides failed in the first four shootout rounds before Rolston used a nifty backhand move and tucked the puck home inside the right post in the fifth frame. Fernandez then came through with yet another save and the Wild skated away winners.
"Obviously, the big story was Manny stopping (all five San Jose shooters) in a row," said Rolston. "All we needed was one and we got it."
Following a scoreless opening period, the teams traded goals in the early stages of the second.
When Jonathan Cheechoo was whistled for tripping only 24 seconds in, the Wild took advantage and grabbed a 1-0 lead. A shot from inside the right circle was saved by Toskala, but Sharks defenseman Tom Preissing inadvertently redirected the puck off of his goaltender and into the net at 2:03. Robitaille was credited with his 12th goal.
Soon after, at the five-minute mark, San Jose knotted the contest on Scott Thornton's ninth goal. Following a shot from the left point, the puck caromed out to the low slot and Thornton fought for position. His first rebound attempt was saved, but he kept at it and eventually poked it home from near the right post.
It took a little over a minute of play in the third period for the Sharks to take a 2-1 lead. Joe Thornton carried over the blue line down the left-wing side and released a blazing slap shot from the top of the circle that beat Fernandez at 1:14.
The Sharks held the lead throughout the bulk of the third stanza, but a critical mistake led to the tying goal by Minnesota. During a scramble in front of the San Jose net, Sharks forward Mark Smith put his glove on top of the puck in the crease and a penalty shot was awarded. Gaborik took the uncontested breakaway and buried a wrister for a 2-2 tie with just over five minutes to go in regulation.
"The puck was right there on the goal line and I just tried to bat it out of there with my hand, and I guess that's illegal," said Smith.
San Jose is now 1-6 in shootouts...This was the fourth penalty shot taken by Minnesota this season and the second goal scored. Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored against Vancouver's Dan Cloutier on October 12...San Jose is now 14-5-5 at home this season...The Wild have captured all three contests against San Jose in 2005-06 and are also winners of three straight at the Shark Tank...All five games in the Western Conference on Thursday were decided past regulation, four of which were in a shootout...The Wild finished 1-for-3 on the power play, while the Sharks were scoreless on three opportunities with the extra skater...Attendance was 15,226.
02/03 02:13:53 ET