Sharks hold off Wild to complete sweep


Nikolai Knyzhov scored his first NHL goal to help the San Jose Sharks to a 4-2 win against the Minnesota Wild at SAP Center in San Jose on Wednesday.

Tomas Hertl and Brent Burns each had two assists, and Martin Jones made 26 saves for San Jose (15-16-4), which has won four of its past six.

“We all know that there’s a lot of work ahead and it’s an uphill,” Sharks coach Bob Boughner said. “It’s just concentrating on we’re playing [each night] and let’s play our game and stay within ourselves.” 

Video: MIN@SJS: Hertl, Balcers connect for sweet goal in 2nd

Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello scored, and Kaapo Kahkonen made 29 saves for Minnesota (21-11-2), which has lost five straight on the road (0-4-1). It was Kahkonen’s first start since March 20. 

“I think we didn’t play our best in the first two [periods],” Zuccarello said. “When you play like we did in the third, move, everyone in sync and play with desperation, I think that’s how we got to play all periods, every game. 

“Got to give credit to them too. They played a good game, they’re a good team over there. But yeah, it’s frustrating to not get a win for sure.” 

Rudolfs Balcers scored from the slot off a lead pass by Hertl for a 1-0 lead at 4:42 of the second period. Ryan Donato made it 2-0 when he backhanded a rebound on the power play at 9:22. It was the second power-play goal for San Jose in eight games. 

“We’ve been getting chances, I just think holding on to pucks and getting pucks to the net, sometimes we have the tendency to pass out of situations,” said Donato. “… [Burns] is always good to shoot the puck and I was ready to crash the net and I was lucky to score.”  

Kaprizov cut it to 2-1 with a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle at 8:23 of the third period.

Video: MIN@SJS: Kaprizov makes strong move for goal in 3rd

Knyzhov, a rookie defenseman, extended the lead to 3-1 when he scored from the left circle off a feed from Erik Karlsson at 10:58.

“There’s not much to say, that was just a great play by [Hertl and Karlsson],” said Knyzhov. “I wasn’t expecting that pass but that was awesome. I give a lot of credit to [Karlsson].” 

Zuccarello scored with 13 seconds remaining to cut it to 3-2.

Evander Kane scored into an empty net with one second left for the 4-2 final.

The Sharks defeated the Wild 4-3 in the shootout here Monday to open the two-game set.

“There’s a lot of season left,” Wild captain Jared Spurgeon said. “You can’t just look at these two games and start pouting. We didn’t play our best the first two periods. I thought we responded in the third. But we got two games left on this road trip starting tomorrow and we can turn this thing around real quick.”

NOTES: Kaprizov leads the Wild with 12 goals. …With an assist, Fiala extended his point streak to three games (one goal, three assists). …The Sharks won a fourth straight game at home. … In addition to his goal, Kane had six shots on goal, three hits and one blocked shot. … Burns is one assist from 500 in the NHL. He can become the 30th defenseman in NHL history to reach the mark, and the 19th with at least 200 goals, 500 assists and 700 points.

Video: Knyzhov’s first NHL goal lifts Sharks past Wild, 4-2

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