Sharks top Wild for sixth straight win
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal in the second period to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday.
Martin Havlat, Dan Boyle and T.J. Galiardi also tallied for the Sharks, winners in six straight.
"We're trying to hunt teams down and secure a good spot in the playoffs," Thornton said.
Antti Niemi turned away 31 shots in the triumph.
Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley lit the lamp for the Wild, who are currently tied atop the Northwest Division standings with the Vancouver Canucks with 44 points.
Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves but allowed all four goals in the setback.
"We have to get back to the details and doing the right thing. We have to be better with the puck and get a chance to play more in their end," Backstrom said.
San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Havlat and Boyle scored.
Havlat took a feed from Thornton from behind the net and quickly whipped a wrister into the back of the goal just 1:34 into the game.
Later, on the power play, Boyle took the puck near the Sharks' net and skated into the Wild zone. He was met by a trio of Minnesota defenders but impressively stickhandled his way to the net and sent the disc past Backstrom's right pad.
Zach Parise's shot was turned away by Niemi, but Coyle was there to corral the rebound and punched it into the back of the net at the 9:27 mark.
Heatley blasted a slap shot from the left point to tie the game for the Wild 25 seconds later.
After Brent Burns forced a turnover in the Wild's zone and dropped the puck back to Thornton, who attempted to center a pass but the disc deflected off a Minnesota player and into the net to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead with 5:18 left in the middle session.
Galiardi added a power play goal 6:55 into the final frame to account for the final margin.
Both teams had 33 shots ... Thornton has 28 assists and seven goals this season ... The Sharks will host Calgary on Friday ... The Wild will visit the Kings on Thursday.
04/04 03:27:26 ET