Sharks, Wild clash in St. Paul

( – It’s been a roller coaster ride for the Minnesota Wild
during their past two third periods.

After rallying for a victory last time out, the Wild try to make it two in a
row on Thursday night as they host the San Jose Sharks.

The Wild had a two-game win streak snapped with a 5-4 loss to the New York
Rangers on Monday. Minnesota led 3-0 going into the third period of that game
before New York put forth an epic comeback.

It was the Wild’s turn on Tuesday in Boston as they scored three times in the
third period, winning 4-3 on Marco Scandella’s game-winner late in regulation.

Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise and Justin Fontaine also lit the lamp for
Minnesota, while Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves on 28 shots in his second
start of the season.

“These guys are doing a tremendous job for us,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said.
“What I like is that they’re doing it the right way.”

Yeo did see his team go scoreless on two power-play chances, leaving the club
0-for-26 on the season.

The Sharks have followed up a four-game slide with back-to-back wins, both on
the road. They unleashed 51 shots on net in Tuesday’s meeting with Colorado,
but needed a shootout to record a 3-2 victory.

Patrick Marleau and Joe Pavelski scored in the shootout with Antti Niemi
adding two saves.

Brent Burns and Logan Couture tallied in regulation for the Sharks and Niemi
added 31 saves, including one on Matt Duchene in the final seconds of

“We’re happy to get the two points. Of course, that was a big save, and it
really did give us confidence going forward,” said Niemi.

Burns is certainly playing with confidence. He has a goal in three straight
and a point in five in a row. The defenseman has four goals and 12 points in
11 games on the season.

“Offensively he’s been an absolute force for us. He’s getting better
defensively. Big, big part of our team right now,” said Sharks head coach Todd
McLellan of Burns.

The Sharks have won four of their past five overall versus the Wild, but are
0-5-1 in their last six trips to Minnesota.