Galiardi gets pied after scoring in win over Wild
Dan Boyle’s goal was his fourth five-on-three goal of the season, setting a new team record. (AP IMAGES)
SAN JOSE – The home dominance continues.
Joe Thornton and Marty Havlat had a goal and an assist, while Dan Boyle and TJ Galiardi added power play goals in a 4-2 Sharks win over Minnesota at HP Pavilion on Wednesday night.
San Jose continued its steady ascent in the standings, jumping over Pacific Division rival Los Angeles into fifth place in the Western Conference. The Sharks have won six in a row, including all five on their current homestand, and are a league-best 13-1-4 at their home rink.
The game was tied 2-2 in the second period when the Sharks took advantage of some sloppy play by the Wild in their own zone. Minnesota failed to get the puck out numerous times, and Jared Spurgeon turned it over to Brent Burns. Burns gave the puck to Thornton, whose attempted pass deflected off of Clayton Stoner’s skate and past Niklas Backstrom at 14:42 to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead at the intermission.
Galiardi gave them some insurance with a power play goal at 6:55 of the third period. Scott Gomez deflected a Brent Burns’ shot towards the net, and Galiardi deposited the loose puck for just his second goal.
The Sharks finished 2-for-5 on the power play, and had to kill off just 53.3 seconds of power play time to Minnesota at the end of the game. The game got nasty at that point the Wild on the power play, looking to close the gap. Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Heatley exchanged slashes and wrestled at the side of the net, and the result was Heatley leaving the ice clutching his left arm/wrist area.
The Sharks saw a 2-0 lead evaporate in the second.
Minnesota’s offense was dormant for much of the game until former Sharks draft pick Charlie Coyle got on the board. Coyle feathered a pass to Zach Parise who put it on net, and Coyle tipped in a loose puck behind Antti Niemi at 10:33 of the middle frame to make it 2-1.
It didn’t take long for the Wild to tie it. Just 25 seconds later, Thornton’s clearing attempt up the wall went right to Dany Heatley’s stick, and the former Shark blasted a shot inside the far post for his 11th goal.
Stoner’s ill-advised delay of game penalty in the first period led to the Sharks taking a 2-0 lead. The defenseman carelessly shot the puck into the stands from his own zone, putting the Sharks on a two-man advantage. Dan Boyle went coast-to-coast on a rush from behind his own goal line, sidestepping Ryan Suter in the process, and slid home his sixth goal on what may have been the highlight-reel goal of the year for San Jose at 5:19.
Havlat gave the Sharks an early lead with his fifth goal at 1:34 on a pass from Thornton, after Burns skated the puck in deep.
The Sharks and Wild will play the rubber match of their three-game season series on April 18 at HP Pavilion. The Sharks snapped a four-game losing streak to the Wild.
Boyle’s goal was his fourth five-on-three goal of the season, setting a new team record. Five of his six goals have come with a man advantage.
Galiardi’s power play goal, the third of his career, was his first since Dec. 15, 2009 when he was with Colorado.
The Sharks have had to kill off just three penalties in their last four games. James Sheppard’s hooking minor at 19:06 of the third period was the only time they were shorthanded.
Niemi made his 14th straight start, and 23rd in the last 24 games. He made 31 saves for his 18th win.
Backstrom, who pitched a 33-save shutout of the Sharks on March 23 made 29 saves on 33 shots.
The Sharks acquired defenseman Scott Hannan and winger Raffi Torres earlier Wednesday, but neither played. Both are expected to arrive and practice with the team on Thursday.
The Sharks lineup was the same from their 3-2 win over Vancouver on Monday, as Jason Demers remained out with an undisclosed injury and Matt Tennyson played his second career NHL game on defense.
Demers is expected to return in the “next couple of days,” according to general manager Doug Wilson.
The Sharks’ close out their homestand with the Calgary Flames on Friday night and Dallas Stars on Sunday afternoon. A four-game road trip begins on April 9 in Columbus.