ST. PAUL, Minn. -- It was hard to know what bothered Sharks coach Todd McLellan the most Sunday night after a 3-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild.
The referee's failure to disallow Wild forward Zach Parise's first of two goals because of what the Sharks saw as goalie interference?
Or his own team's 0-for-4 power play that McLellan said was so awful that it killed momentum it was supposed to create?
Whichever, the end result was a third consecutive defeat for a Sharks team that only picked up two of a possible eight points on its road trip, taking the luster off what had been a six-game winning streak.
Parise's second goal went into an empty net with six seconds left in the game and Mikko Koivu also scored for the Wild, which managed a mere 12 shots on goalie Antti Niemi. At the other end of the ice, Patrick Marleau's shot with only 1:41 left in the game and Niemi already on the bench was the lone one of 38 to get past Minnesota netminder Josh Harding.
The Sharks were denied a win over the Winnipeg Jets on Nov. 10 when an overtime goal by Marleau was waived off by a referee who said Tommy Wingels made incidental contact with netminder Ondrej Pavalec.
But when Parise fired in a rebound at 3:55 of the second period to give the Wild a 1-0 lead, the goal was allowed to stand even after Minnesota forward Jason Pominville fell on Niemi.
"Completely different interpretation of what was explained to me in Winnipeg," McLellan said of the response he got after complaining about the goal. "I'll be looking for an explanation before we lose our third point now."
Niemi said he expected that goal to be disallowed.
"Yeah I think I was bumped. I'm not sure where it happened or if they did it on purpose or not, but it affected the play, for sure," said Niemi, who added that the official told him he was outside the crease at the time -- something that usually isn't a factor.
As for San Jose's power play, it has reached 0-for-9 in the three losses, and McLellan seemed to be fed up with what he saw against Minnesota.
"The power play was awful," he said. "I don't know if I've been in six years as disappointed with the power play as I am right now. And it's not (just) me. I'm sure they're disappointed in the power play, too."
He noted that San Jose has been "an elite group that has come out and been a threat for a long time," then added: "I'd like to see two or three guys take charge of it and let's get going because they go out and it's really killing the momentum that we gain."
Minnesota's first goal, in fact came just 43 seconds after a San Jose power play expired.
The winning goal came at 8:11 of the second period when Koivu skated into the slot unchecked and fired a shot that Niemi appeared to get a good look at, but couldn't save.
"It was a tough play," Niemi said. "He was coming lateral and shooting through the feet. I ended up a little deep maybe. It was a good shot."
McLellan had brought up rookies Matt Nieto and Freddie Hamilton from Worcester to inject energy into his team after back-to-back losses in Pittsburgh and Carolina. That they did, with Nieto leading all Sharks with six shots and Hamilton adding three more.
The two rookies replaced John McCarthy and Marty Havlat, the latter unable to play because of an unspecified injury after he blocked three shots against Carolina.
McLellan also moved Joe Pavelski off the third line and onto the second with Logan Couture and Marleau.
"Shuffled the lines around a little bit, thought we had some energy," McLellan said, adding that he thought it helped that the team had Saturday off. "But now it's about getting the win -- not just having the energy."
The next chance comes Tuesday at home against the New York Islanders.
N.Y. Islanders (8-17-5) at Sharks (19-6-5), 7:30 p.m. CSNCA