Sharks

Wild deny Sharks home ice for 1st round with 6-3 win

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USATSI

Wild deny Sharks home ice for 1st round with 6-3 win

BOX SCORE

SAN JOSE --  Jason Zucker scored twice in the second period, Eric Staal matched the franchise record for goals in a season and the Minnesota Wild denied San Jose home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs with a 6-3 victory over the Sharks on Saturday night.

Mikael Granlund scored the tiebreaking goal 28 seconds before Zucker got his first and Jonas Brodin and Matt Cullen also scored for the Wild, who were locked into the third seed in the Central Division. Staal added an empty-net goal to tie Marian Gaborik's franchise record for goals in a season with 42.

Devan Dubnyk made 27 saves. Minnesota finished the season with 101 points, going over the 100-point mark for the second straight season and fourth time in franchise history.

The game had much more meaning for the Sharks, who needed one point to clinch second place in the Pacific Division. Instead, San Jose lost five of six games to end the regular season and will be forced to hit the road to start the playoffs against Anaheim in the first meeting between the rivals since the Ducks upset the Presidents' Trophy-winning Sharks in 2009.

Brent BurnsJoe Pavelski and Timo Meier scored for San Jose. Martin Jones allowed five goals on 19 shots before being replaced by Aaron Dell to start the third period.

The Sharks started strong in the second period and held Minnesota without a shot for more than eight minutes. But the Wild then struck twice within less than a minute midway through the period to take control.

Granlund started it with a wrist shot for his 21st goal before Zucker took over with two goals of his own, giving him 33 on the season and the Wild coasted from there to the victory.

The Wild started the game like the team with something at stake, holding the Sharks to no shots on goal for nearly nine minutes and taking a 2-0 lead on goals from Brodin and Cullen.

The Sharks then found their game late in the period and scored twice in 64 seconds to tie it, with Burns getting the first on a shot from the point and Pavelski tying the game after a turnover by Matt Dumba.

NOTES: Wild D Louie Belpedio made his NHL debut after signing a contract earlier this week following a four-year career at Miami of Ohio. He had two assists to become the first Minnesota player ever with two points in his debut. ... Sharks F Evander Kane returned to the lineup after missing two games with an undisclosed injury. ... Brodin's goal gave him 100 career points.

UP NEXT

Wild: First round of playoffs vs. Winnipeg.

Sharks: First round of playoffs vs. Anaheim.

NHL awards: Sharks' Joe Thornton misses out on first Masterton Trophy

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AP

NHL awards: Sharks' Joe Thornton misses out on first Masterton Trophy

Before Joe Thornton makes his return to the Sharks official by putting pen to paper, the veteran center missed out an adding another trophy to his collection.

The 39-year-old did not pick up the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy at Wednesday's 2019 NHL Awards as "the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey," with the award going to New York Islanders goaltender Robin Lehner.

The 2018-19 season marked Thornton's second consecutive campaign recovering from a torn ACL and MCL. He tore the ligaments in his right knee on Jan. 23, 2018, just over nine months after doing the same in his left knee. 

Despite that, Thornton scored 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 73 regular-season games during his 21st NHL season and became a fixture on the Sharks' third line. It was his 17th season with at least 50 points, tying him for 10th in NHL history with the most such seasons. 

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Lehner, 27, won 25 games with the Islanders and was second among NHL goalies (minimum of 10 games played) in save percentage (.930) and third in goals against average (2.13) in the best season of his career.

Before the season, Lehner wrote an article for The Athletic and revealed he had suicidal thoughts while battling drug and alcohol addiction. He wrote that he "was diagnosed bipolar 1 with manic phases" while underoing treatment in Arizona, and revealed his struggles in order to "help make a difference and help others the way I have been helped." 

Columbus Blue Jackets winger Nick Foligno was the other finalist. Foligno, 31, scored 35 points (17 goals, 18 assists) in 73 games, missing time in November and March as two of his three children had separate health scares. He told NHL.com's Dan Rosen in a story this week that his nomination was "humbling and I appreciate it, but it's something that feels weird to me because I get to play a game for a living, and I've got a pretty good life considering all this stuff."

NHL awards: Sharks' Brent Burns finishes second in Norris Trophy voting

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USATSI

NHL awards: Sharks' Brent Burns finishes second in Norris Trophy voting

Brent Burns made the medal stand, but he did not pick up his second career Norris Trophy on Wednesday.

Instead, Calgary Flames defenseman Mark Giordano won his first at the 2019 NHL Awards in Las Vegas.

Burns, 34, scored 83 points (16 goals, 67 assists) in 82 games, setting a Sharks franchise record for points by a defenseman. He became the first blueliner to score at least 82 points in a season since Karlsson did so with the Ottawa Senators in 2015-16, and only the 48th in NHL history.

This marked the third time in the last four seasons that Burns was a finalist for the award, and he dressed for the occasion.

Burns finished second in the Professional Hockey Writers Association's balloting.

Giordano, 35, scored a career-high 74 points (17 goals, 57 assists) and led the Western Conference-leading Flames in ice time en route to being a first-time Norris finalist. 

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Victor Hedman was the other nominee. Hedman, 28, scored 54 points (12 goals, 42 assists) in 70 games, leading the loaded Lightning to a runaway President's Trophy win in a record-setting regular season.