SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Dan Boyle scored on a spectacular end-to-end rush with a two-man advantage to help the San Jose Sharks win their sixth straight game, 4-2 over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday night.
Marty Havlat got the scoring started for San Jose and Joe Thornton broke a tie with a goal off the skate of a Minnesota defender late in the second period. TJ Galiardi also scored and Antti Niemi made 31 saves to help the Sharks move into a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference.
Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley scored for the Wild, who lost for the third time in four games following a seven-game winning streak. Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves as Minnesota lost consecutive games for the first time since Feb. 12-14 to fall into a tie for the Northwest Division lead with Vancouver.
Both teams made moves earlier in the day before the trade deadline with Minnesota acquiring forward Jason Pominville from Buffalo and the Sharks getting forward Raffi Torres from Phoenix and defenseman Scott Hannan from Nashville.
Minnesota overcame a slow start to tie the game with a pair of goals by players acquired from San Jose in a 25-second span midway through the second period.
Coyle, sent to the Wild in the deal for Brent Burns in 2011, fed the puck to Zach Parise, who was stopped on a shot and rebound attempt. But as the rebound of the second shot was trickling wide, Coyle reached his stick in and tipped the puck into the empty net.
Heatley, traded for Havlat two summers ago, then beat Niemi with a blast from the top of the circle to tie the game at 2.
The Sharks went back ahead after the Wild kept turning the puck over as they tried to clear the zone. The last turnover came when Burns took the puck from Jared Spurgeon and fed it to Thornton, whose pass back to Burns hit off Clayton Stoner’s skate and into the net to give San Jose a 3-2 lead heading to the third.
Galiardi scored his first power-play goal since 2009 early in the third when he poked in a rebound with Cal Clutterbuck out for hooking Andrew Desjardins.
The Sharks got off to another fast start, scoring twice in the opening period. They have outscored the opposition 8-1 in the first period during their streak and 32-18 for the season.
Burns beat Jonas Brodin to the puck deep in the Minnesota zone and got it to Thornton behind the net. Thornton fed Havlat, who beat Backstrom with a one-timer from the circle to make it 1-0 just 1:34 into the game.
Boyle then delivered his breathtaking goal with the Sharks on a two-man advantage when Stoner shot the puck over the glass for a delay of game with Kyle Brodziak already in the box for hooking. Minnesota won the faceoff following Stoner’s penalty and cleared the puck.
Boyle retrieved it deep in San Jose’s zone and started his rush from behind the goal. He went straight up the middle and juked Ryan Suter inside the blue line before stickhandling past Backstrom to knock in the backhand to make it 2-0.
The Wild were fortunate the deficit wasn’t bigger after the first period. Patrick Marleau hit a post, Backstrom poke-checked the puck away from Galiardi on a breakaway and Suter then cleared a puck out of the crease after Burns’ shot hit Backstrom’s glove and trickled toward the net.
NOTES: Four of Boyle’s six goals this season have come in 5-on-3 situations. ... Pominville is expected to join the Wild in Los Angeles on Thursday before they play the Kings. ... Torres is expected to join the Sharks on Thursday and could play Friday night against Calgary.