|MIN||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
|SJS||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Manny Fernandez tried to keep himself composed as Minnesota's lead dwindled. He figured the calmer he looked, the more relaxed his young teammates would be.
In the end it worked out.
Zbynek Michalek and Alexandre Daigle scored goals 1:35 apart in the second period, and the Wild ended a seven-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory Tuesday night over the San Jose Sharks.
Matt Johnson and Alex Henry also scored as the Wild snapped a six-game winless skid on the road.
``I think everybody was nervous at the end,'' said Fernandez, who won for the first time in 16 games by stopping 31 of 34 shots. ``I told myself if I at least look like I've got it together maybe it's the confidence builder the guys needed.
``I tried to keep that confidence in my mind and in my eyes by not panicking, and making saves.''
Despite being outshot 14-2 in the final period, the Wild hung on for the win.
``It was tough toward the end, but Manny made great saves a couple of times,'' said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire. ``It's a great win for the kids.''
The Wild, who traded away several veterans over the past few days, have been relying on a handful of newcomers. Michalek, for example, scored his first NHL goal.
``It's fun to play with the lead,'' Fernandez said. ``I think we all enjoyed it. I wish it could happen a lot more. We were making good plays and getting good chances.''
Alexander Korolyuk scored twice for the Sharks, who lost at home for the first time in nine games and third straight overall. Scott Hannan also scored for San Jose.
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov was honored for his 25th career shutout 10 days ago in a brief ceremony before the game. But he has allowed 11 goals in losing his last three games. Nabokov won his previous five games, giving up 10 goals.
The Sharks failed to increase their two-point lead in the Pacific Division after the Dallas Stars lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0.
``I don't know what we did. We just didn't come out to play hard,'' Hannan said. ``I don't know if we underestimated them, but we can't afford to do that. We had a chance to pick up a couple of points on Dallas and get some breathing room there and we can't afford to have these kind of games this time of the season.''
The Sharks opened the scoring in the first two minutes on a goal by Korolyuk. Nils Ekman sent a pass across the front of the goal after getting his defender on the ground and drawing Fernandez to his side.
Minnesota responded 10 minutes later when Johnson, who scored his first goal in 22 games, fired in a shot from the top of the crease after receiving a pass from Eric Chouinard.
The Wild went ahead 2-1 with just under four minutes left in the first period when Henry went top shelf off the rebound of his own shot, which bounced off Nabokov's pads.
Michalek increased the lead at 11:46 of the second period with a slap shot near the point off a faceoff. Daigle scored less than two minutes later, ending Nabokov's night.
Hannan scored at 15:45 of the third period, slapping a loose puck by Fernandez.
Korolyuk scored his second goal of the night to make it 4-3 with 5:51 remaining. He skated with the puck through three defenders and beat Fernandez low.
Minnesota was outshot 14-2 in the final period.
|Alexander Korolyuk (12) ASST: Nisse Ekman (21), Alyn McCauley (19)|
1 - 0 SJS
|Matt Johnson (6) ASST: Eric Chouinard (3), Stephane Veilleux (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Alex Henry (2) ASST: Marian Gaborik (13), Stephane Veilleux (3)|
2 - 1 MIN
|Zbynek Michalek (1) ASST: NONE|
3 - 1 MIN
|Alexandre Daigle (13) ASST: Andrew Brunette (28), Marc Chouinard (6)|
4 - 1 MIN
|Scott Hannan (5) ASST: Alexander Korolyuk (10), Nisse Ekman (22)|
4 - 2 MIN
|Alexander Korolyuk (13) ASST: Vesa Toskala (1)|
4 - 3 MIN
|Scott Hannan Interference|
|Andrew Brunette Too many men/ice - bench|
|Willie Mitchell Roughing against Scott Thornton|
|Scott Thornton Roughing against Willie Mitchell|
|Scott Thornton Fighting (maj) against Matt Johnson|
|Matt Johnson Fighting (maj) against Scott Thornton|
|Wayne Primeau Interference on goalkeeper against Manny Fernandez|
|Alexandre Daigle Interference against Alexander Korolyuk|
|Christian Ehrhoff Hooking against Marian Gaborik|
|Richard Park Tripping against Alyn McCauley|