SAN JOSE -- The Sharks knew they had a tough opponent in the Minnesota Wild. What they got Tuesday night was a speedy, back-and-forth contest with no let-up.
San Jose went into the second intermission with a two-goal lead, despite being outshot by the visitors 19-14 through 40 minutes. Then, Minnesota scored twice to start the third period, tying the score.
Barclay Goodrow redirected a Brent Burns laser shot with 12:35 to go to put the home team on top 4-3, and give them their first regulation win since October 23.
Here are three takeaways from Tuesday’s tilt …
That (third) line was on fire
We’ve written a lot about how the Meier-Couture-Hertl line has dominated so far this season. On Tuesday night, the Sharks' newly assembled third line of Joe Thornton, Marcus Sorensen and Barclay Goodrow stepped up and led the charge.
Sorensen had a magnificent game, notching the one-timer that first put San Jose on the board, then firing a puck that brushed off Thornton's arm and past Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk in the second frame. Goodrow already was having a good game before he was posted up in the right spot to redirect Burns’ third-period attempt in the back of the net.
However you slice it, this goes back to what coach Peter DeBoer said after the Sharks' win over the Flyers about the forward lines having no order. What the team needs is to have someone step up each night. On Tuesday, it was the new Thornton line.
Suomela rebounds after being scratched
Last game, the Finnish rookie sat in the rafters as a healthy scratch. He was a standout on San Jose’s fourth line Tuesday night, although his most impressive feat was the goal he scored in the second period.
Minnesota cranked up the heat after cutting the Sharks' 2-0 lead in half on Zach Parise's power-play goal. But San Jose kept grinding, and when Suomela got the feed from Sorensen, he broke away and skated right up to Dubnyk before backhanding the puck into the net.
The response after the Wild came back
Last week, Logan Couture discussed the team having stretches during games where it sat on its heels and gave the opposition an opening. The beginning part of the third frame Tuesday night likely would’ve fallen into that category. The Sharks kept up momentum after the Wild got on the board in the second stanza, but they let them back into the game in the third.
While the Sharks were able to hang on, that’s a habit they no doubt want to break. Ultimately, they were able to rebound and grind until they were able to get the regulation victory.