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Wild unable to ‘lock down’ a crucial point versus Sharks

Minnesota Wild v Arizona Coyotes

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 15: Head coach Mike Yeo of the Minnesota Wild watches from the bench during the NHL game against the Arizona Coyotes at Gila River Arena on October 15, 2015 in Glendale, Arizona. The Wild defeated the Coyotes 4-3. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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January, 2015: Minnesota Wild is in a free-fall through early and mid-January and there’s talk Mike Yeo’s job as head coach should be on the line, before that team turns it around and rolls right into the playoffs.

January, 2016: Maybe things aren’t quite as dire for the Wild compared to a year ago, but this month has provided its share of difficulties. Minnesota still remains in a Wild Card spot, four points up on Nashville in that race, but only three wins in the last 10 games have made things a bit closer than the Wild would like.

The Wild was in a position to claim at least a single point versus the San Jose Sharks on Saturday, after Jarret Stoll scored (his third of the season) to tie the game for Minnesota. But off a faceoff, Sharks’ forward Joe Pavelski scored with 1:24 remaining in regulation to give his team the lead.

San Jose would hold on for the 4-3 win.

Minnesota’s three-game trip through California produced two of a possible six points.

In those two losses, the Wild was tied with the opposition in the third period. Against Anaheim and again against San Jose, the Wild conceded a late go-ahead goal and, as a result, valuable points.

“It’s kind of the Anaheim story,” Stoll told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

“Tie game late in the third on the road, you want to at least get a point. We’ve got to lock those games down. A playoff team, a good team, you’ve got to lock those games down.”