Series (Game 3 of 4)

Minnesota leads 3-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 31st
Game 2: Saturday, November 9th
Game 3: Saturday, January 25th
Game 4: Friday, February 7th

Wild 1

(25-17-1, 58 pts)

Sharks 4

(17-20-5, 45 pts)

10:30 PM ET, January 25, 2003

SAP Center, San Jose, California

1 2 3 T
MIN 0 1 01
SJ 1 3 04

O. Nolan (Sharks - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

T. Selanne (Sharks - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

E. Nabokov (Sharks - G): Saves: 32, Save Pct.: .970

Nabokov picks up first victory in nine games

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Owen Nolan and the San Jose Sharks finally figured out a way to score against the Minnesota Wild.

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."

Vincent Damphousse, Marco Sturm and Scott Thornton also scored for the Sharks, who snapped a three-game losing streak and ended a six-game winless streak 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 games.

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 to everything."

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.

Game notes
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.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press