Three stars: Mikko Kolvu, Min: 1 assist
Two Stars: Andrew Brunette, Min: 1 goal.
One Star:Nikas Backstrom, Min: 36 saves.
For really the first time all season, San Jose's offense was shut down.
Coming into Tuesday night's game, the Sharks had the number one power play in the league and had scored ten goals in the last two games. That meant nothing as Minnesota's Niklas Backstrom completely shut down the Shark's offense and the Minnesota defense held San Jose without a power play goal for the first time in three games. The Wild were able to kill five power plays and did a great job of limiting second chance shots near the crease.
Even with San Jose out shooting Minnesota 36-16, The Wilds were able to sneak a goal past starting goal minder Anterro Niittymaki who dropped his first game since taking over as the starting goaltender on October 27th. The goal came on a 5-3 power play opportunity midway through the second period.
After looking like they had gotten over their rusty start, San Jose had trouble again Tuesday. Not scoring is not a big deal. The Sharks had scored 20 goals in the last four games and had the puck in Minnesota's end all night. If it wasn't for a tremendous performance from Backstrom, the Sharks would have rolled out of Minnesota with a win.
Although the offense was shut down, Logan Couture continues to impress. Midway through the game, Couture beat two Wild defense men and had a good shot on Backstrom. It is only early in the season, but the youngster has already racked up four goals.
Mistakes still plague the Sharks. The Sharks took nine penalties to the Wild's six and the most costly ones where McCarthy's and Mitchell's that set up the 5-on-3 situation which Andrew Brunette scored on.
- With the win, Backstrom got his 20th career shut-out. The Wild also stopped a five game losing streak to the Shark, who have gone 10-4 in the last 16 games.
Next Game: San Jose finishes up their short two-game raod trip in St.Louis where they will face one of the best teams in the league so far. the Blues are led by Center T.J. Oshie and former Canadian Jaroslav Halak who has had a sensational start (1.72 GAA).