Brent Burns scores late, helps San Jose beat Minnesota 5-3
By MIKE COOK
ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) Brent Burns' goal with 1:48 remaining snapped a tie and led the San Jose Sharks to a 5-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday night.
Ryan Donato, Evander Kane and Noah Gregor scored for San Jose before Matt Nieto added an empty-net goal. Martin Jones finished with 26 stops.
After his initial shot was blocked, Burns corralled a loose puck in the right circle, cut to the middle between three Wild defenders, shifted from his forehand to backhand and beat Kaapo Kahkonen on the far side for the winner.
"What was I thinking? I wasn't really thinking. That's probably what happens in most plays a lot, you don't think," Burns said. "(Tomas) Hertl won a great draw and yeah, I don't know, it's just one of those things it's nice to see work out."
Here's Donato's view: "That was disgusting, for lack of a better term. That was a very highly skilled play by a guy that can score goals. At that point in the game, to do that, it's unbelievable."
Wild coach Dean Evason was frustrated.
"We talk about stick on puck all the time and competing and we just faded out. There was no attempt to check whatsoever," he said. "We were just basically in block mode and fade mode."
Fiala tied the game three seconds into a power-play at 7:20 of the final period, as Minnesota tried to rally from a 3-1 deficit for its third win of the season. Zach Parise and Nick Bjugstad also scored.
"We have to figure out how to have a great start and get the lead and keep playing with the lead," Fiala said.
Kane and Gregor scored less than two minutes apart in the second period, giving the Sharks a two-goal lead.
San Jose got some off-ice help, too when a Minnesota goal was waved off between those scores.
Bjugstad and Kirill Kaprizov crashed the net trying to convert a feed from Fiala. Called a goal on the ice, it was successfully challenged by the Sharks, with video review determining Bjugstad interfered with Martin Jones by pushing his pad, causing the puck to cross the line.
Bjugstad, a Minnesota native, scored his first goal for the Wild late in the period to make it 3-2.
Minnesota took an early 1-0 lead on a dazzling play by Kaprizov, who, off a neutral-zone faceoff, split two defenders and, on a 2-on-1, sent a backhanded across to Parise, who scored into the top corner.
Kaprizov leads NHL rookies with six points and five assists and is the first Wild rookie to average a point per game through his first six contests.
San Jose was 1 for 4 on the power play, ending an 0 for 12 stretch. It also killed off a penalty called with 5:26 left.
"I think you can see our game is growing in areas. Jonesy made some stops at the right time. We got one on the power play, that was huge for us, and our penalty kill came up big at the end of the game. There's a lot of good things. It's slowly getting better," coach Bob Boughner said.
Sharks: Burns' goal was his 40th game winner and 26th since joining the Sharks in 2011-12. He becomes the eighth defenseman in NHL history to score at least 40 career game-winning goals. . Looking for more speed and motion in the offensive zone, San Jose tweaked some line combinations with John Leonard getting back with Kane and Tomas Hertl on the second line. Dylan Gambrell centered Timo Meier and Gregor.
Wild: G Cam Talbot, who left Friday's game with a lower-body injury, did not dress and is considered day to day. Andrew Hammond came off the taxi squad to serve as the backup. ... C Nico Sturm (illness unrelated to COVID-19) missed his second straight game. ... Kahkonen had 31 saves.
Sharks: Open a two-game set Tuesday at Colorado.
Wild: Continue a six-game homestand Tuesday with the first of two against Los Angeles.
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Updated January 24, 2021