SAN JOSE -- Sharks coach Todd McLellan talked about the need for his team to make hay on this season-long, seven-game homestand. Maybe it's time to build a bigger barn.
Wednesday night, the Sharks got goals that ranged from a beautiful end-to-end rush by Dan Boyle to a fluky bounce that went Joe Thornton's way to dispose of the Minnesota Wild 4-2 in a friction-filled game that ended with Marc-Edouard Vlasic and former teammate Dany Heatley scuffling on the ice.
"The last shift both teams were cross checking, slashing, slew foot," said Vlasic, who earned a minor and game misconduct penalties at the finish. "He took a swing at me and missed. I took a swing at him and got him. That's what it is."
The Sharks are now a perfect 5-0 during this stretch at HP Pavilion as they extended the NHL's longest current win streak to six games. With 44 points, the Sharks leapfrogged the Los Angeles Kings into fifth place in the Western Conference standings.
In addition to Boyle and Thornton, the Sharks got goals from Marty Havlat and TJ Galiardi, with Antti Niemi making 31 saves for the win. Two players with San Jose connections -- Charlie Coyle and Heatley -- accounted for the Minnesota scoring.
Havlat's goal at 1:34 of the first period gave the Sharks a 1-0 lead, but it was Boyle's less than four minutes later that really impressed the sellout crowd.
With two Wild players in the penalty box, Boyle hauled the puck the full length of the ice, faked out All-Star defenseman Ryan Suter and tucked a backhand shot behind Minnesota goalie Niklas Backstrom.
Boyle said the decision to make it a one-man show was spontaneous.
"I was going to drop it, probably at the red line," he said, "but I just changed my mind and I'm glad I did."
But in the second period, Minnesota got two goals 25 seconds apart to tie the game.
Onetime San Jose prospect Coyle tapped in a rebound of a shot by Zach Parise at 10:33, and on the next shift Heatley launched a 56-foot slap shot that eluded Niemi.
Thornton got what turned out to be the winning goal at 14:42 of the period when what appeared to be a centering pass banked off Wild defenseman Clayton Stoner and into the Minnesota net.
"You just want to funnel pucks close to the net," Thornton said. "You never know what can happen."
The insurance goal came at 6:55 of the third period when Galiardi, getting rare power-play time, camped out in front of the Wild net and got to a loose puck before anyone else.
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