NHL News

Wild’s Fleury Steps Up Again to Help Secure Win Over Sharks

Mats Zuccarello Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild took their road trip to the West Coast when they headed to California to take on the San Jose Sharks. While the Sharks are not having a great season, they are still a talented team that can score and made it difficult on a Wild team missing their star scorer, Kirill Kaprizov. It was their first game without Kaprizov, but they started the game out on the right foot with an early goal.

The first period went well for the Wild as they escaped with a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 18-5. The second period took a turn, however, as the Sharks answered back and tied things up at one a piece, halfway through the period. The Wild weren’t going to back down and retook the lead with just a few minutes left before the end of the second.

In the third period, the Wild found their offense as they scored to begin the period and took their first two-goal lead before the Sharks answered back to get within one again. That was the last goal the Sharks would score, however, as the Wild went on to score two more goals and secured the 5-2 win to extend their winning streak to five games.

Wild’s Special Teams Roller Coaster Is Back

Ever since the Wild got their five-on-five scoring back on track their power play became almost nonexistent. However, it had a slight bounce back when they took on the Sharks with two goals recorded on the man advantage. The first was from the Wild’s shootout specialist, Frédérick Gaudreau, and the second went to one of their power play specialists, Mats Zuccarello.

Mats Zuccarello, Minnesota Wild (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Wild’s power play found some success, but their penalty kill, which is normally very strong, struggled immensely. The two goals the Sharks scored were both on the power play and the first goal occurred due to a bad habit the Wild developed early in the year. At the beginning of the season, the Wild struggled to cover the weak side wing on the penalty kill and it led to several bad goals. The second goal had the proper players covered but they still managed to sneak by Fleury. The Wild have to tighten things up on the penalty kill as they continue on this trip if they want to continue to win.

Wild’s “Flower” Dominates Again

Once again, one of the main storylines of this game was the Wild’s goaltender Marc-André Fleury doing what he does best and that’s making the key saves. Fleury may have let in two goals, but he also stopped 35 of 37 shots for a save percentage of .946. It’s also hard…

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