The Minnesota Wild continued their hot streak with a 2-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks Saturday at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Wild has now won five in a row - all in regulation and by more than one goal.

Despite the early afternoon start, Niklas Backstrom was on his game.

"One o'clock, you're not really used to that," said Backstrom. "You never really know what is going to happen. It's a challenge. After the game, you have time to spend with the family. It's something different. It's something where you learn something new."

The Wild's goaltender made some game-saving stops throughout the game, but saw the most rubber in the third period with 19 stops.

Backstrom has started 14 of the last 15 games for the Wild and has posted a 13-3-1 record with 1.98 goals against average and .929 save percentage in his last 17 appearances.

"I feel good," Backstrom said. "I think the whole team feels good. Its the whole unit, its the six guys out there working together doing all the details right. It helps a lot when you have everyone playing the same way. For a goalie its huge to get the help I get every night."

The Wild got the board right at the end of a power play opportunity at the 12:10 of the second period to take a 1-0 lead for the ninth time in 10 games.

"Anytime you get out to a lead and don't have to chase from behind is a relief," said Jared Spurgeon. "We strive for that, but if it doesn't happen also you can't take it as a negative."

Zach Parise one-timed a cross-ice pass from Mikko Koivu for his team-leading 12th goal of the season for the only goal of the middle stanza.

The Wild (18-10-2) took advantage of a power play to open the third period when Jared Spurgeon fired a one-timer off a pass from Ryan Suter over the glove of Antti Niemi at the 1:17 mark. Suter and Mikko Koivu recorded assists on both Wild goals.

The Sharks (13-11-6) had the first really good scoring chance of the game when Andrew Desjardins drew a penalty on a breakaway three minutes and six seconds into the game. However, Backstrom kicked the penalty shot attempt into the corner to keep the game scoreless.

"I'm pretty thankful for that save," said Spurgeon, whose shot attempt was blocked and led to the breakaway. "It's something you never want to see coming back as being your fault, but he bailed me out there."

The Xcel Energy Center's attendance was announced at 19,358, the second largest regular season crowd in Wild history.

Three Stars

No. 3 – Zach Parise. The Wild forward scored a goal.

No. 2 – Ryan Suter. The Wild defenseman recorded two assists.

No. 1 – Niklas Backstrom. The Wild goaltender stopped _ shots for the shutout.


San Jose…….0 0 0 – 0

Minnesota…..0 1 1 – 2

First Period – None. Penalties – Konopka, Min (interference), 12:59; Burns, SJ, double minor (high sticking), 4:21.

Second Period – 1, Minnesota, Parise 12 (Koivu, Suter), 12:10. Penalties – Gilbert, Min (interference), 2:32; Sheppard, SJ (interference), 10:10; Coyle, Min (interference), 14:26; Wingels, SJ, major (fighting), 15:34; Mitchell, Min, major (fighting), 15:34; Boyle, SJ (tripping), 20:00.

Third Period – 2, Minnesota, Spurgeon 4 (Suter, Koivu), 1:17 (pp). Penalties – Clutterbuck, Min (holding), 3:04.

Shots on goal – San Jose 6-8-19 33. Minnesota 10-9-5 24.

Penalty Shots - Desjardins, San Jose, 3:06 first period (save).

Goalies – San Jose, Niemi (22-24). Minnesota, Backstrom (33-33). A – 19,358. Referees – Dan O'Halloran, Ghislain Hebert. Linesmen – Vaughan Rody, Ryan Galloway.