NHL: Wild stay hot with 5-2 pasting of Sharks

Jared Spurgeon, Marcus Johansson, Mats Zuccarello and Matt Boldy all collected one goal and one assist to lead the visiting Minnesota Wild to a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday.

Frederick Gaudreau also scored for the Wild, who are on a 10-0-2 roll and sit two points behind the Dallas Stars for the top spot in the Central Division. Marc-Andre Fleury made 34 saves, 18 of them in the first period, while Ryan Hartman and John Klingberg both posted two assists.

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Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl both netted one goal and one assist for the Sharks, who have one win in nine games (1-7-1) and sit at the bottom of the Western Conference. Goalie James Reimer stopped 24 shots.

Without the club’s leading scorer, Kirill Kaprizov, the Wild need players to elevate their game, and they saw that wish granted early when Spurgeon opened the scoring at the 1:44 mark. Upon joining a rush, Spurgeon took a pass from Zuccarello as he raced into the open slot and snapped a 17-game goal drought by potting his 10th goal of the season.

Couture’s power-play goal — a rebound tally for his 23rd of the campaign — just past the midway point of the second period drew San Jose even. With his assist, Erik Karlsson set a franchise record with his 84th point of the season. The Sharks had just one power-play goal in the previous 12 games (1-for-30)

Gaudreau’s power-play goal with 1:57 remaining in the second period restored the Wild lead. With Evgeny Svechnikov in the penalty box for slashing Fleury, Gaudreau converted a rebound for his 13th of the season.

Johansson’s 14th of the season, a deflection goal 30 seconds into the third period, held up for the game-winning goal.

Hertl’s rebound power-play goal, his 19th of the season and 200th of his career, made it a one-goal game at 8:36 of the third period.

However, Zuccarello restored the two-goal edge with a man-advantage marker of his own, his 21st goal of the season, with nine minutes remaining in regulation.

Boldy’s empty-net goal with 1:57 on the clock, his 18th of the season, rounded out the scoring.

–Field Level Media

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