St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) – Kyle Brodziak notched a pair of goals as Minnesota used a third-period surge to dispatch San Jose, 5-3, at Xcel Energy Center. Brent Burns added a goal and one assist for the Wild, who halted a two-game slide and won for the fourth time in their last six.
Mikko Koivu and Chuck Kobasew also tallied to back a 29-save performance from Niklas Backstrom. “Everyone stuck together, stuck to the game plan. We kept going hard at them,” Brodziak said. “Over the night it started wearing them down. It was a fun game. That’s what we have to look for every night, when guys are laying it on the line every minute of the game.”
Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau and Devin Setoguchi lit the lamp for the Sharks, who have lost two in a row after winning four straight. Antero Niittymaki was tagged for all five scores on 24 shots in defeat.
Kobasew got the rally started and tied the game, 3-3, when he punched in the rebound of a Nick Schultz point shot at the 5:14 mark of the third. Burns managed to get a floater from the left point through traffic at 9:15 for the go-ahead score, then Brodziak finished the burst at 10:35 when his desperation centering pass from behind the goal line redirected off a Shark player’s stick and veered into the net.
San Jose skated with an extra attacker for the final 2:04, and Brodziak missed his last chance for a hat trick in the final 15 seconds when his long-distance shot sailed wide left of the empty cage. Minnesota’s first shot of the game was a successful one, as Brodziak slipped in a Martin Havlat pass between Niittymaki’s arm and body for a power-play goal just after the seven-minute mark.
San Jose evened things at 11:49 when Thornton notched his own power-play score on a one-timer from in front. Setoguchi gave the visitors a one-goal edge less than three minutes into the second when Ryane Clowe’s attempt to the net deflected off his body and past Backstrom.
Koivu’s stuffer at the right post at 12:27 pulled Minnesota even, but Marleau’s wrister from the right circle on a San Jose advantage made it 3-2 at 15:01. This was Brodziak’s third multi-goal effort of the season after two-goal games on October 21 and November 27…Burns notched his fourth multi-point game this season and second in December…San Jose swept four matchups last year but Minnesota has won both this season, in St. Paul…Havlat posted two helpers for the Wild, and Clowe had the same for the Sharks.