Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves for his first victory in nine
games, and Nolan had a goal and an assist in the Sharks' 4-1 win
over Minnesota on Saturday night.
San Jose had been outscored 11-4 in its previous four meetings
with the Wild.
"We were ready to go," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "Once we
got the lead we kept the play simple. We didn't make mistakes at
bad times. We took 42 shots and I don't think this team has ever
taken that many shots against the Wild."
"We played pretty smart defense," Thornton said. "It's been
awhile since we felt this confident. We're all aware time is
running out if we don't put on a good run here."
Marian Gaborik scored for the Wild, who had won three of their
previous four games.
"They seemed very well prepared for us," Gaborik said. "It
seemed like we were standing around and they were skating by us."
Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson, who started his
franchise-record eighth straight game, allowed more than two goals
for just the eighth time in 29 starts, and the first time in eight
He stopped 38 of 42 shots.
"They caught us completely off guard," said Roloson. "They
got things going faster than we did."
The Sharks put the game away with three second-period goals.
Nolan scored an unassisted goal 47 seconds into the period, giving
him goals in three straight games after an eight-game drought.
"Owen scored a great goal," Wilson said. "He jumped on a
turnover and took it from there."
Nolan assisted on Sturm's goal midway through the period, and
Thornton made it 4-0 with 5:52 left in the period.
"It was the best game against us I've seen them play and it
started from the first faceoff," Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire
said. "We were giving up chances right and left and they beat us
Gaborik leads the Wild with 26 goals and has scored in three of
his last five games.
The Sharks took 40 or more shots for just the third time this
season, while the Wild have allowed 40 or more just four times.
D Kyle McLaren agreed to terms with the Sharks before the
game and could play Monday night in Los Angeles. He was acquired
Thursday in a three-way trade with Boston and Montreal. McLaren has
not played this season after holding out with the Bruins. ...
Sharks D Dan McGillis was scratched because of headaches caused by
a cross-check to the neck area from New Jersey's Turner Stevenson
on Thursday night. ... San Jose D Brad Stuart was back in action
after missing eight games with an ankle injury. ... The Sharks last
beat Minnesota on April 2, 2001. ... The Wild reassigned LW
Stephane Veilleux to Houston of the AHL.