SAN JOSE, California – Mats Zuccarello had one goal and three assists, and the Minnesota Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 6-2 on Monday night for their third straight win.
It was the highest-scoring game of the season for Minnesota, finishing in form after being sidelined for a few weeks this month due to COVID-19 protocols.
Victor Rask had a goal and two assists for the Wild, who improved to 3-1 on their five-game road trip. Kirill Kaprizov, Marcus Foligno, Ian Cole and Jonas Brodin also scored, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 31 saves.
"I think this group is confident," said Minnesota coach Dean Evason. “You clearly feel good about yourself when you can score and of course also defend. We've been very good at playing it game by game, and clearly we need to keep doing that. "
The Sharks fell flat in the opener of an eight-game home stand of the season. The following is a challenging piece as they play 11 of their next 13 against St. Louis, Vegas or Colorado, the top three teams in the West Division.
Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored for San Jose, which was surpassed 3-1 in the second period. Martin Jones made 16 saves on 20 shots before being replaced by Devan Dubnyk.
"We are a team that cannot rely on one line," said Sharks coach Bob Boughner. “We need strong keepers every night. We cannot give the other team excessive chances. We must be tight. "
The Sharks scored 45 seconds into the game on a handy goal from Burns, who slammed the puck around a defender on the blue line and went from right to left to run a backhand past Kahkonen.
But the Wild took the lead for good with a few goals 11 seconds apart halfway through the first. Zuccarello tied the score when he scored from the right circle at 7.49. Immediately after, Zuccarello found Kaprizov on the left side of the net for another score that gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.
"Especially if Burns gets a goal (early), it can take the wind out of your sails," said Foligno. & # 39; But we answered immediately. We did very well. "
– FOX Sports North (@fsnorth) February 23, 2021
IN THEIR DEFENSE
The Sharks played their fourth straight game without injured defenders Erik Karlsson (groin) and Radim Simek (upper body). Karlsson's return date is unknown, but coach Bob Boughner said before the game that Simek could potentially return against Vegas on Thursday.
TRANSPORT THE LOAD
Kahkonen continues to play well as starting goalkeeper Cam Talbot goes through COVID-19 protocol. He has stopped 73 out of 77 shots in the past three games.
Kaprizov went into the night for the 11-point lead for Minnesota and continued his strong season with a goal and assist.
Wild: Visit the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday evenings.
Sharks: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Thursday night.