Backstrom leads Wild to shutout win over Sharks
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Niklas Backstrom stopped 33 shots to notch his first shutout of the season, as the Minnesota Wild blanked the San Jose Sharks, 2-0, on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.
Zach Parise and Jared Spurgeon each scored once, with Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter adding a pair of helpers apiece to help the Wild extend their season- high winning streak to five games.
Antti Niemi allowed both goals on 24 shots for the Sharks, who have lost three of four on a five-game road trip that wraps up Monday in Anaheim.
San Jose had a prime opportunity to score just over three minutes in when Andrew Desjardins was awarded a penalty shot after being taken down on a breakaway, but the San Jose center couldn't take advantage, as Backstrom made a nice glove save to keep the Sharks off the board.
After a scoreless first frame, Minnesota broke through just over 12 minutes into the second stanza, as Koivu slid a perfect pass from the top of the left circle to the low right side for Parise, who buried a wrister into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 12:10 mark.
Minnesota padded its lead with a power-play marker early in the third when Spurgeon let a one-timer fly from the top of the left circle that sailed high into the far corner of the net to make it 2-0 at the 1:17 mark.
Backstrom made the lead stand from there, as he turned away all 19 shots he faced in the final frame to secure his 27th career shutout.