By Curtis Pashelka/San Jose Mercury News
Joe Pavelski scored the go-ahead goal with 1:24 left in the third period as the Sharks defeated the Minnesota Wild 4-3 on Saturday afternoon at SAP Center.
Joe Thornton won a draw in the Wild’s defensive zone back to Pavelski, whose wrist shot got past Minnesota goalie Darcy Kuemper for his 23rd goal of the season and his eighth game-winner.
“Great players make great plays at the right time, and he’s one of those guys,” coach Peter DeBoer said.
“He thrives in those moments. He wants to be out there in those moments. That’s not an accident that happens to guys like that.”
Martin Jones made 25 saves for his fifth straight win as the Sharks extended their point streak to eight games and moved into sole possession of second place in the Pacific Division with 53 points.
The Sharks are also 4-0-1 in their last five home games, accumulating almost as many points (nine) as they did through their first 17 games (10) at SAP
The Sharks host Los Angeles on Sunday night, then wrap up their three-game pre-All-Star break homestand Tuesday night against Colorado.
Joonas Donskoi and Joel Ward scored goals 1:38 apart in the second period to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead, a lead they held until Wild forward Jarret Stoll scored with 7:50 left in the third period to tie the game 3-3.
With the Sharks trailing 2-1, Donskoi scored on the power play as he one-timed a pass from Ward to tie the game with 7:40 left in the second period.
On Donskoi’s next shift, he missed the net on a pass from Logan Couture on an odd man rush.
But Couture picked up the loose puck and found Ward, who found the net for his 14th of the season and a 3-2 Sharks lead.
Ward’s goal came 15 seconds after the Wild’s Matt Dumba hit the post.After a stretch in which he had just six points in 17 games, Donskoi now has seven points in his last eight.
With two games left before the All-Star break, Donskoi is the Sharks’ sixth-highest scoring forward with 20 points.
Forward Tomas Hertl picked up his seventh point in seven games, collecting a loose puck behind the Wild net, wrapping it around the post and banking it off Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper and in for a 1-0 Sharks lead 1:33 into the first period.
The Wild got that goal back with 7:00 left in the first period, as a Marco Scandella shot from the blue line hit Chris Porter’s skate.
The puck went to Porter’s stick, and he tapped it past Jones to tie the game 1-1.
With 24 seconds left in the first period, Minnesota scored on the power play, as former Sharks first round draft choice Charlie Coyle banged home a loose puck from just outside the crease after a pass from Nino Niederreiter.
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