Wild drop third straight but trade for Pominville
San Jose, CA (Sports Network) - Joe Thornton scored the game-winning goal in the second period to lead the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win over the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday at the HP Pavillion.
Martin Havlat, Dan Boyle and T.J. Galiardi also tallied for the Sharks, winners in six straight. Goalie Antti Niemi turned away 31 shots in the triumph.
Charlie Coyle and Dany Heatley lit the lamp for the Wild, who are currently tied atop the Northwest Division standings with the Vancouver Canucks with 44 points.
Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves but allowed all four goals in the setback.
San Jose jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Havlat and Boyle scored.
Havlat took a feed from Thornton from behind the net and quickly whipped a wrister into the back of the goal just 1:34 into the game. Later, on the power play, Boyle took the puck near the Sharks' net and skated into the Wild zone. He was met by a trio of Minnesota defenders but impressively stickhandled his way to the net and sent the disc past Backstrom's right pad.
Zach Parise's shot was turned away by Niemi, but Coyle was there to corral the rebound and punched it into the back of the net at the 9:27 mark. Heatley then blasted a slap shot from the left point to tie the game for the Wild 25 seconds later.
After Brent Burns forced a turnover in the Wild's zone and dropped the puck back to Thornton, who attempted to center a pass but the disc deflected off a Minnesota player and into the net to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead with 5:18 left in the middle session.
Galiardi added a power play goal 6:55 into the final frame to account for the final margin.
The Minnesota Wild hope that having pulled off a big trade on Wednesday can help them avoid their first three-game slide in over two months on Thursday night as they visit the Los Angeles Kings. Minnesota had a big offseason with the signings of forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. It continued to stock up on talent before yesterday's trade deadline, acquiring forward Jason Pominville from the Buffalo Sabres along with a 2014 fourth-round draft pick for goaltender Matt Hackett, forward Johan Larsson, a first-round draft pick in 2013 and a second-round pick in 2014. Pominville recorded 10 goals and 15 assists in 37 games with the Sabres this season. In 2011-12, he had 30 goals and 43 assists while being selected to the NHL All-Star Game.