ST. PAUL, Minn. – Trailing in the third period and sick of getting booed at home, the Minnesota Wild took out their frustration on the San Jose Sharks.
Kyle Brodziak scored twice and Brent Burns had the winner in the Wild’s 5-3 comeback victory over the Sharks on Wednesday night.
“It’s not fun getting booed in your home rink. It’s embarrassing, and guys have a lot of pride,” Brodziak said. “When you hear those sorts of things, we definitely deserved it. So tonight was a big step forward for us.”
The Wild trailed 3-2 and appeared headed toward another home loss after not capitalizing on a four-minute power play to start the third-period.
But Chuck Kobasew, Burns and Brodziak scored in a five-minute span and the Wild overwhelmed the suddenly reeling Sharks in the final period.
Joe Thornton, Devin Setoguchi and Patrick Marleau scored for San Jose, which has allowed seven third-period goals in its last two games.
“It’s unacceptable,” Thornton said. “It’s ridiculous now. That’s not how you’re going to win games and win the post-season.”
The Sharks appeared to be rolling after winning four straight before the holiday break. But a 4-0 loss to the Kings on Monday and another third-period meltdown Wednesday have killed that momentum.
Four of the five goals scored by the Wild came directly in front of the net.
“Disappointed with our net play, not only in the net, but around the net,” Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. “We need to be much more authoritative. We have some big bodies, we have some people that have played there for many years. We have to be a lot cleaner in that area.”
The Wild had a three-game winning streak before the break, but dropped their first two since.
The Wild also have not given their fans much to cheer about at home. By beating the Sharks, the Wild won for just the third time in their last nine home games.
“The emotions were high in the game,” Wild coach Todd Richards said. “We knew going in that we were probably going to get a good push from San Jose early on because I know they’re coming off a disappointing loss, and we got that.”
Burns scored the winner when his wrist shot sailed through goalie Antero Niittymaki’s legs. Brodziak scored a minute later when Niittymaki lost track of Martin Havlat’s shot and left the net wide open.
The Wild scored early in the first on an ugly power play. After Minnesota failed to get a shot during the first 1:55 of the man-advantage, Brodziak scored after Pierre-Marc Bouchard prevented Douglas Murray from clearing the zone.
Thornton’s 5-on-3 goal tied it five minutes later and Setoguchi gave the Sharks the lead early in the second when the puck bounced off his arm and in.
The Sharks played without centre Joe Pavelski and defencemen Torrey Mitchell. Both stayed back in San Jose because of lower-body injuries.
The Sharks rushed the net late in the third period, but Niklas Backstrom denied them every time. The Finn finished with 29 saves.
“Once the game settled down, we figured out a way to have some success,” Richards said. “Nik made some big saves for us when we needed him to.”
NOTES: Wild defenceman Marek Zidlicky left the game after being checked awkwardly into the boards by Jamie McGinn. … The Sharks called up winger Brandon Mashinter from Worcester of the AHL to play in his first NHL game. Centre Tommy Wingels was called up to play in his third. Winger John McCarthy was placed on injured reserve (upper body). … With eight healthy defencemen, the Wild reassigned Jared Spurgeon to Houston of the AHL. … Wild prospect Jason Zucker left Tuesday night’s United States-Slovakia world junior game after getting elbowed in the head.