The Wild, finishing a three-game in three days road trip through Alberta and California, were slow and a few steps behind the Sharks.
The most notable Wild player that looked like they needed a day off was Niklas Backstrom. The goaltender was slow to react, especially on the goal he set up. After firing the puck up the boards, which was quickly intercepted by Logan Couture, Backstrom was slow to get back to the front of the net. Martin Havlat had a wide open net to shoot at after getting a pass from Couture.
The lone bright spot for the Wild was a break away goal by Pierre-Marc Bouchard at the 9:44 mark of the second period to get the Wild within one goal. That came nearly five minutes before Backstrom's gaffe behind the net.
Backstrom's night concluded after the Sharks scored two goals in a 22-second stretch early in the third period, including a wide wrap-around goal by Raffi Torres.
The Wild (24-17-3) remain four points ahead of the ninth place team in the Western Conference and four points behind the Vancouver Canucks for the Northwest Division lead. The Canucks lost to the Dallas Stars earlier in the night.
The Sharks (24-13-7) got multiple point games from Couture (2-goals, 2-assists), Havlat (2-1), Patrick Marleau (0-2), Raffi Torres (1-1) and Joe Pavelski (1-1).
No. 3 – Anti Niemi. The Sharks goaltender stopped 27 shots.
No. 2 – Joe Pavelski. The Sharks forward recorded a goal and an assist.
No. 1 – Logan Couture. The Sharks forward scored two goals and added two assists.
Minnesota…..0 1 0 – 1
San Jose…….1 2 3 – 6
First Period – 1, San Jose, Havlat 6 (Couture, Marleau), 7:42. Penalties – None.
Second Period – 2, San Jose, Couture 18 (Marleau, Thornton), 5:29 (pp). 3, Minnesota, Bouchard 7 (Pominville, Gilbert), 9:44. 4, San Jose, Havlat 7 (Couture), 14:32. Penalties – Stoner, Min (holding), 4:25.
Third Period – 5, San Jose, Torres 6 (Pavelski), 3:59. 6, San Jose, Pavelski 14 (Torres, Demers), 4:21. 7, San Jose, Couture 19 (Havlat), 9:15. Penalties – Brodziak, Min (roughing), 17:34; Brodziak, Min, misconduct, (10-minute), 17:34; Gomez, SJ (roughing), 17:34; Gomez, SJ, misconduct, (10-minute), 17:34.
Shots on goal – Minnesota 7-9-12 28. San Jose 12-12-5 29.
Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (22-27), Kuemper (1-2). San Jose, Niemi (27-28). Referees – Dave Jackson, Dennis LaRue. Linesmen – Bryan Pancich, Jay Sharrers.