Burns provides late-game heroics in Sharks 5-3 win


Burns provides late-game heroics in Sharks 5-3 win

Courtesy of Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Brent Burns has a flair for the dramatic.

The bearded defenseman's second goal of the season couldn't have come at a better time for the Sharks, who earned its first regulation win of the season in a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Sunday evening at Xcel Energy Center.

After his initial shot was blocked by a Wild defenseman in the right corner of the Wild zone, Burns recollected the puck, made a spectacular dipsy-do maneuver between three Wild players, and roofed a backhand shot past Wild goalie Kappo Kahkonen with 1:48 remaining in the third period for the eventual game-winning goal.

"What I was thinking? I wasn't really thinking," said Burns when asked what his mindset was before scoring. "I mean that's probably what happens in those plays a lot, you don't think."

San Jose earned its first win in regulation on the season to even its record at 3-3.

Minnesota jumped out to a quick start with an odd-man rush that led to Zach Parise's second goal in as many games at the 4:21 mark of the first period. Kirill Kaprizov set up Parise, as he was all alone on Sharks goalie Martin Jones and buried a wrist shot for a 1-0 lead.

The second game of the series was much better for Ryan Donato as he scored his first goal against the Wild late in the first period. A quick pass from Kevin Lebanc led to Donato with a one-timer that deflected off the leg of Jared Spurgeon and past the five-hole of Kahkonen.

"I think it felt better knowing the fact that I've had so many opportunities the past couple of games and didn't score," Donato said about how it felt scoring against his former team. "It's funny the ones that are least expected [are the ones that] go in."

The Sharks erased some of its recent power play woes early in the second period. Evander Kane scored his second goal of the season (and the Sharks sixth power play goal) at the 6:39 mark. Timo Meier fed a wide open Kane in the left slot and his one-timer sneaked past the five-hole of Kahkonen.

Minnesota thought they had tied the score a minute later when Nick Bjugstad was in the crease and pushed Jones inside the net with the puck underneath Jones. After video review, the goal was disallowed.

Noah Gregor, who was reinserted into the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games, gave the Sharks a two-goal lead just over a minute and half later. Gregor skated in on a three-on-two rush and from the right faceoff circle snapped home a wrist shot off the left pad of Khakonen for his first goal of the season at the 8:26 mark.

"I thought he was a beast out there," said Sharks head coach Bob Boughner regarding Gregor's performance. "Every time his line was out there, he was taking pucks to the net, dragging people on his back. He was finishing on the forecheck, all those kind of things. That line played well together."

Bjugstad got his revenge near the end of the second frame when he had position on Mario Ferraro and redirected a shot from the point by Spurgeon to cut the lead to 3-2 at the 16:47 mark.

Kevin Fiala scored the equalizer on the power play at the 7:20 mark of the third period. Parise won a clean faceoff over to Ryan Suter, who sent a cross-ice pass over to Fiala and the defenseman blasted a one-timer past Jones for his second goal of the season.

"We talked about in our pre-game meeting, how important these two points were. I think you can see our game is growing in areas. I thought Jonesey (Jones) made some stops at the right time. We got one out of a power play. That was huge for us. Our penalty kill came up big at the end of the game on that last penalty. So there's a lot of good things. It's slowly getting better," Boughner said.

Matt Nieto iced the game with his second goal in as many games with an empty netter at the 19:31 mark.

The Sharks will travel to Denver to finish off its eight-game roadtrip with two games against the Colorado Avalanche starting on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.


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