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Sharks avoid major meltdown, hold on to beat Minnesota Wild

Curtis Pashelka, The Mercury News on

Published in Hockey

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Logan Couture's fourth point of Thursday night came with 45 seconds left in the second period, as his pass to the front of the net set up a tap-in goal for Evander Kane and gave the San Jose Sharks a seemingly comfortable four-goal lead.

Then the third period began, and it turned out the Sharks needed every bit of Couture's production.

The Minnesota Wild scored three unanswered goals in the third period to throw a serious scare into the Sharks, who scrambled in the waning moments to hold on to a 6-5 win at SAP Center.

The Sharks scored four times on 12 shots in the first period added two more goals in the second period before they put it on cruise control. The Wild got goals from Brad Hunt, Ryan Donato and Jason Zucker in the third period to cut the Sharks lead to 6-5.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones made several saves in the final few minutes to preserve the win.

Couture's goal just 52 seconds into the game snapped his personal 13-game goalless drought and set the stage for a rare Sharks' laugher on home ice this season. Timo Meier, Marcus Sorensen and Radim Simek also scored in the first period for the Sharks, who next play Saturday against the Nashville Predators.

Couture, whose only other goal this season came Oct. 5 against Anaheim, finished with four points for the first time since Oct. 17, 2017 when he had two goals and two assists in a game against the Montreal Canadiens. Hertl had three points and Sorensen, Meier, Evander Kane and Brent Burns each added two.

Kane was injured with 9:51 left in the third period, as Ryan Hartman slashed him on the back of the legs. Kane had to be helped off the ice, and Hartman was assessed a five-minute major and a game-misconduct for slashing. Kane returned later in the period.

Kane has been a huge part of the Sharks' offense and power play this season, as his goal at the 19:15 mark of the second period was his team-leading 10th of the season, and seventh on the man advantage.

 

Sharks goalie Martin Jones allowed five goals on 26 shots, as he earned wins in back-to-back starts for the first time since Oct. 13 and Oct. 16, when he beat Calgary and Carolina

The Sharks knew they needed to have some success on this homestand if they were going to distance themselves from an ugly October that saw them win just four of 13 games.

They ended the month with three straight losses on the road, then started November with a 3-2 loss to Winnipeg and a 5-2 loss to Vancouver.

The Sharks entered Thursday in seventh place in the Pacific Division, eight points back of sixth place Anaheim and 11 back of first place Edmonton.

(c)2019 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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