Minnesota Wild's Marco Scandella, left, collides with San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi in the first period of an NHL hockey game, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2011, in San Jose, Calif.
George Nikitin, Associated Press
SAN JOSE, 3, WILD 1
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Penalties costly as Wild's five-game win streak ends
- Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO
- Star Tribune
- November 11, 2011 - 12:57 AM
SAN JOSE, CALIF. - It's one thing to march to the penalty box in Calgary.
The Flames have the NHL's worst power play on home ice.
It's another thing to march to the penalty box in San Jose, where the Sharks boast the NHL's best power play at home.
The Wild was able to survive its fascination with the sin bin Tuesday against the Flames, but it played with fire again Thursday night and got burned because of it as the Sharks extinguished the Wild's five-game win streak with a 3-1 victory.
Patrick Marleau scored two power-play goals, one of which was assisted by former Wild defenseman Brent Burns. The Wild, which could have taken the top spot in the Northwest Division with a victory, spoiled Antti Niemi's shutout bid on Kyle Brodizak's goal with 6 minutes, 27 seconds left.
"It's definitely not part of the game plan," Brodziak said of playing shorthanded. "we've got to stop [taking penalties]."
The Wild, 1-8-1 in its past 10 visits to HP Pavilion, played the third period without Guillaume Latendresse. The first-line forward, who entered the game on a three-game goal streak, wasn't skating well in the first two periods. Coach Mike Yeo did not have an immediate update on Latendresse's condition after the game.
Latendresse did miss a game at Vancouver on Oct. 22 with a sore groin. Nick Johnson moved up to the first line in his place.
The Wild killed off seven power plays in Calgary. Thursday, it took three minors in the first 8:19 and gave San Jose five power plays in the game.
When the Wild stayed out of the box, it was fine. It entered the game having allowed 1.79 goals per game and 16 at even-strength, and the Wild gave up little at 5-on-5 to the high-octane Sharks -- the NHL's sixth-best offensive team -- in the first period especially.
The Sharks, 8-1-1 in their past 10, went a 15-minute stretch at one point with only one shot on goal. The Sharks' best chance came on a power play when Burns set up Joe Thornton with Niklas Backstrom on the other side of the net.
But a lunging Nate Prosser saved the sure goal with a good stick.
In the second, however, things started poorly after defenseman Justin Falk got beat, resulting in a Pierre-Marc Bouchard hooking minor.
The Wild coughed up the first Marleau goal on an unforced error of sorts. Backstrom tried to exchange a puck with Falk, and Falk fanned on the collection. Marleau didn't, roofing it as Backstrom tried to recover.
Exactly 13 minutes later, Marleau made it 2-0 after Marco Scandella lost a puck and was nailed for a questionable tripping penalty on Logan Couture. Ryane Clowe set him up for the easy one-timer after Burns slid along the blue line to draw the attention of the Wild penalty kill.
The Wild is 8-0 this season when not giving up a power-play goal, 0-4-3 when it gives up at least one. The Sharks are 9 for 25 on the power play in the past five home games against the Wild.
Three minutes later, the Sharks extended their lead to 3-0 when Mitchell one-timed Michal Handzus' faceoff win by Backstrom.
The three goals allowed in the second came after the Wild didn't allow one in that period during the win streak.
It was the first matchup between the two teams since the summer trades that included Burns and Martin Havlat going to San Jose and Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley going to Minnesota.
Burns played a stellar all-around game.
Setoguchi had an eventful first period -- specifically with former teammate Doug Murray. Yeo classily started Setoguchi, but 2 seconds after the puck dropped, Murray crushed him. Later, Murray was sent to the box for tripping Setoguchi. Four minutes later, Setoguchi tripped Murray.
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