The Minnesota Wild played its best game in the SAP Center in some time.
That, however, was marred by Joe Thornton’s second goal of the game at the 3:30 mark of overtime to give the San Jose Sharks a 3-2 win Saturday.
Thornton took a pass from Joe Pavelski at the blue line after Jason Pominville turned the puck over and couldn’t get it back and ripped a slap shot over the glove of Darcy Kuemper.
Kuemper made several big saves for the Wild, but certainly would like to have the last shot back. Thornton’s shot came from just inside the top of the face-off circle with no screens or traffic to avoid. Kuemper just missed it.
The Wild (28-20-6) got on the board in the first period when Matt Cooke caught Antti Niemi cheating to the near-side on a breakaway. Cooke moved across the top of the crease and fired a wrist shot into the wide open net.
Keith Ballard scored his first goal as a member of the Wild to give the team a 2-0 lead early in the second period. He snuck a bad angle shot past Niemi off a pass from Mikael Granlund. Pominville got the puck to Granlund for his 500th career point.
Around the midway point of the second period, the Sharks got on the board and tied the game in a 49-second span.
Thornton started the rally with a one-timer off a pass from Pavelski after the Wild got stuck in their own end. Clayton Stoner mishandled a pass from Ballard and the Sharks were able to get a forecheck on the Wild.
Patrick Marleau quickly tied the game when he re-directed a pass from Tommy Wingels past Kuemper off a rush.
The Sharks (34-12-6) dominated the face-off circle winning 41 of 59 draws (69 percent) and had the greater puck possession time because of it.
No. 3 - Matt Cooke. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 2 - Joe Pavelski. The Sharks forward recorded two assists.
No. 1 - Joe Thornton. The Sharks forward scored two goals.
Minnesota……1 1 0 0 - 2
San Jose.……0 2 0 1 - 3
First Period - 1, Minnesota, Cooke 8 (unassisted), 9:33. Penalties - Stoner, MIN, major (fighting), 17:03; Brown, SJ, major (fighting), 17:03.
Second Period - 2, Minnesota, Ballard 1 (Granlund, Pominville), 4:16. 3, San Jose, Thornton 7 (Pavelski, Irwin), 11:12. 4, San Jose, Marleau 22 (Wingels, Irwin), 12:01. Penalties - Irwin, SJ (hooking), 5:35.
Third Period - None. Penalties - Stoner, MIN (slashing), 1:57; Prosser, MIN (hooking), 5:26; Demers, SJ (interference), 5:30.
Overtime - 5, San Jose, Thornton 8 (Pavelski), 3:30. Penalties - None.
Shots on goal - Minnesota 7-9-4-2 22. San Jose 11-10-7-4 32.
Goalies - Minnesota, Kuemper (29-32). San Jose, Niemi (20-22). Referees - Gord Dwyer, Eric Furlatt. Linesmen - Lonnie Cameron, Kiel Murchison.