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Sharks 3, Wild 1

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SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Center Joe Pavelski scored two of San Jose's season-high three power-play goals as the Sharks snapped a four-game winless streak with a 3-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

The Sharks were sharp on special teams, converting three of seven power-play chances, including two in the opening period. In addition, they snuffed out all three Minnesota power plays.

Goaltender Antti Niemi stopped 28 of 29 shots. His bid for a third shutout of the season and 26th of his career was denied at the 12:36 mark of the third period when Minnesota defenseman Jonas Brodin's shot from the middle of the blue line ricocheted off the chest of Sharks defenseman Brad Stuart and past Niemi.

As has been their habit of late, the Sharks ran out to an early 2-0 lead, converting two of four power-play chances in the opening period while outshooting the travel-weary Wild 16-9.

The Sharks led 16 of their 32 games 2-0, and 14 times that's been the score after 20 minutes.

Minnesota's march to the penalty box started early when at 5:14 right winger Justin Fontaine high sticked Stuart. It took the hosts just 40 seconds to convert when Pavelski's one-time shot from the left point sailed past a screen set in front of Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom by left winger Patrick Marleau for his 11th goal.

Minnesota was on the verge of killing consecutive minors that included being short-handed by two men for two minutes when rookie sensation left winger Tomas Hertl scored with four seconds left on a 5-on-4.

Brodin turned the pick over to right winger Tommy Wingels, who shoveled a short pass to Hertl, who punched his team-leading 15th goal from the slot past Backstrom at 14:43.

Niemi made a strong post-to-post save on defenseman Jared Spurgeon 10 seconds into Minnesota's only first-period power play and center Logan Couture hit the crossbar just before the horn in an attempt to give San Jose a three-goal edge.

San Jose scored the only goal of the second period, again with the man advantage, which accounted for 18 of the team's 32 shots through two periods.

Minnesota center Zenon Konopka was sent off for a high-sticking double minor when in fact it appeared the stick of left winger Freddie Hamilton cut teammate defenseman Jason Demers instead of the Minnesota forward's stick.

Regardless, Pavelski netted his second power-play goal of the game and 13th goal of the season by pouncing on a rebound left on defenseman Matt Irwin's one-time drive from the left point at 3:42.

San Jose kept Minnesota off the board with a spirited late-period penalty kill that included two Sharks breaking sticks and somehow keeping the Wild at bay. It was Hertl's first career penalty that put the Sharks down a man.

NOTES: Sharks coach Todd McLellan reunited C Joe Pavelski with LW Matt Nieto and RW Tommy Wingels for the first time since the first 16 games of the season. San Jose went 10-1-5 while the third line was intact, but injuries and player movement necessitated moves since. ... RW Brett Bulmer, 21, was recalled from AHL Iowa and arrived in time from his flight from Vancouver, British Columbia, to play for the Wild. ... Minnesota C Mikael Granlund (concussion) was out. ... Injured RW Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), RW Adam Burish (back surgery) and D Scott Hannan (upper body) remain out for San Jose. ... The Wild complete a three-game trip Saturday in Denver against the Colorado Avalanche, while the Sharks embark on a three-game trip starting Saturday against the Nashville Predators. ... LW James Sheppard and C John McCarthy were healthy scratches for the Sharks, while LW Jason Zucker, LW Mike Rupp and D Nate Prosser did not dress for Minnesota.
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