Wild falls to Sharks
ST. PAUL (AP) -- Evgeni Nabokov stopped 18 shots and four San Jose players scored to help the Sharks snap a six-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Joe Pavelski, Dany Heatley, Torrey Mitchell and Joe Thornton all had goals for the Sharks. San Jose won for the first time since beating Nashville on March 11 and snapped its longest skid since Nov. 5-30, 2005. It was also the Sharks' first road win since beating Detroit on Feb. 11.
The Sharks were in first place in the West when they embarked on their six-game road trip back on March 14. Their recent struggles dropped them behind Phoenix in the Pacific Division race.
Guillaume Latendresse scored his team-leading 27th goal for the Wild.
Nabokov was 0-5 during the losing streak, but played his usual strong game against the Wild. He improved to 11-0-1 against Minnesota in his last 12 games. Before Tuesday, Nabokov hadn't given up fewer than three goals in a game since March 6.
Niklas Backstrom, Minnesota's regular goalie, returned after missing seven games because of a groin injury.
Backstrom stopped 14 shots, but fell to 2-6-3 against the Sharks.
Pavelski beat Backstrom early in the first period to give San Jose a 1-0 lead.
Heatley scored his 38th goal with a backhander midway through the second to give the Sharks a 2-0 lead, a rare cushion on this road trip.
Latendresse cut the deficit to 2-1 when he beat a sprawling Nabokov on the power play later in the second.
However, the Wild couldn't carry the momentum into the third. Minnesota fell to 2-9-3 against San Jose in the last 14 meetings.
Mitchell scored his second goal of the season and first since Dec. 30 just 17 seconds into the third to put the game out of reach.
Thornton added an empty-net goal late in the third.
NOTES: Sharks forward Jed Ortmeyer returned after missing three games with a lower body injury. He replaced C Scott Nichol, who was scratched because of an upper body injury. ... Minnesota D Nick Schultz, the second player ever drafted by the Wild, played in his 600th NHL game. ... Wild D Clayton Stoner likely is out for the season. Stoner hasn't played since Jan. 5 after having sports hernia surgery. ... Sharks D Rob Blake had two assists to snap an eight-game pointless streak. It was his first multipoint game since Jan. 18 against Calgary.