San Jose had momentum at the start of its Friday night rumble with the host Minnesota Wild. But the Sharks just couldn't finish their chances in front of the net as they fell 4-1 in St. Paul.
Winger Matt Nieto scored the lone goal for Team Teal, his first of the season and his first since returning to the Sharks' roster over the offseason. Sharks netminder Devan Dubnyk, who spent just a little over five seasons playing for the Wild, made 25 saves.
Minnesota's Joel Eriksson Ek opened up scoring by tipping Jordan Greenway's shot passed a toppled-over Dubnyk to give the home team an early 1-0 lead. But San Jose tied things back up just a little over a minute later thanks to a snap shot from winger Matt Nieto.
While the tie held up through the end of the first period, there was still commotion on the ice when Minnesota goalie Cam Talbot appeared to get hit in the knee with the puck while defending the net on a Wild penalty kill. Talbot stayed on the ice for the last 3:24 of the frame, but was replaced by backup Kaapo Kahkonen to start the second period.
The Sharks had more momentum at the start of the second stanza, but were unable to finish their chances and take the lead. The Wild broke the stalemate at the 13:17 mark as Zach Parise deposited his own rebound into the back of San Jose's net. Minnesota took the 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
Brent Burns and Evander Kane had some nice chances early in the third frame for the Sharks, but Kahkonen was there to make the big saves. San Jose had more good chances as the final 20 minutes expired but had difficulty establishing a strong net-front presence. Minnesota added two empty-net goals to their lead in the final two minutes of the game while the Sharks had Dubnyk off the ice for an extra skater.
The Sharks remain in Minnesota for a rematch with the Wild on Sunday evening.
--Field Level Media