The Minnesota Wild fell behind early before falling to the San Jose Sharks 4-2 Wednesday at the HP Pavilion.

The Wild fought back to tie the game with two goals 25 seconds apart from a pair of former Sharks.

Charlie Coyle, a San Jose draft pick, got the Wild on the board by tapping a loose puck on the backdoor into the open net. Coyle and Zach Parise worked a perfect give-and-go near the boards to set up the goal.

In the ensuing shift, Dany Heatley fired a slap shot from just beyond the top of the circles through traffic and past Antti Niemi.

The Wild (21-12-2) started to gain momentum until a shift by the third line gave the Sharks its opportunity to take the lead for good at the 14:42 mark of the second period. Heatley, Jared Spurgeon and Kyle Brodziak all had great chances to get the puck out of their defensive zone. Immediately after those failed attempts, Joe Thornton threw the puck to the front of the net where it hit Clayton Stoner and re-directed into the net.

The Sharks (19-11-6) added its second power play goal of the net to cap the scoring.

The Wild gave up the first two goals of the game in the first six minutes, including a 5-on-3 power play, end-to-end rush by Sharks defenseman Dan Boyle.

The Wild has gotten off to flat starts over the last few games, including several near the tail-end of its seven-game winning streak.

The game ended with a scrum in front of the San Jose goal that started with a two-hand slash away from the puck by Marc-Edouard Vlasic on Heatley that resulted in the Wild forward leaving the ice in a lot of pain. Vlasic was issued a major slashing penalty and a game misconduct for significantly injuring Heatley.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Charlie Coyle. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 2 – Martin Havlat. The Sharks forward recorded a goal and an assist.

No. 1 – Joe Thornton. The Sharks forward recorded a goal and an assist.


Minnesota…..0 2 0 – 2

San Jose…….2 1 1 – 4

First Period – 1, San Jose, Havlat 5 (Thornton, Burns), 1:34. 2, San Jose, Boyle 6 (unassisted), 5:19 (pp). Penalties – Brodziak, Min (hooking), 3:55; Stoner, Min (delay of game), 5:02.

Second Period – 3, Minnesota, Coyle 5 (Parise, Brodin), 10:33. 4, Minnesota, Heatley 11 (Falk), 10:58. 5, San Jose, Thornton 7 (Burns), 14:42. Penalties – Stoner, Min (high sticking), :50.

Third Period – 6, San Jose, Galiardi 2 (Havlat, Gomez), 6:55 (pp). Penalties – Clutterbuck, Min (hooking), 5:34; Falk, Min (slashing), 6:13; Marleau, SJ (cross checking), 6:13; Suter, Min (high sticking), 8:20; Sheppard, SJ (hooking), 19:06; Heatley, Min (roughing), 20:00; Stuart, SJ (hooking), 20:00; Vlasic, SJ, major (slashing), 20:00; Vlasic, SJ, misconduct (game), 20:00.

Shots on goal – Minnesota 6-9-18 33. San Jose 10-11-12 33.

Goalies – Minnesota, Backstrom (29-33). San Jose, Niemi (31-33). Referees – Greg Kimmerly, Dan O'Rourke. Linesmen – Darren Gibbs, Andy McElman.