ST. PAUL, Minn. — Thanks to late-game heroics by Marc-Edouard Vlasic, the San Jose Sharks are back on track after an embarrassing loss a few nights earlier.
Vlasic scored his second winning goal in two nights 3:09 into overtime, and the Sharks completed a 4-3 come-from-behind victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Vlasic, who scored the winner with 4.5 seconds left in regulation on Monday night at Winnipeg, beat goalie Darcy Kuemper with a wrist shot from just outside the left circle.
“I’ve never done that before,” Vlasic said of his consecutive winners. “Maybe as a novice when I scored in every game, maybe junior.”
Vlasic isn’t a defenceman known for his offence, especially late in games. But Sharks coach Todd McLellan is happy to see him look to score when he can.
“He’s taking the shot, which is a lesson for all of us,” said McLellan, whose team has bounced back after losing 7-2 to St. Louis at home on Saturday. “He’s got a hot hand. Get him the puck and let him shoot it.”
The Wild are still reeling after an embarrassing loss of their own, 7-1 at Dallas on Saturday. They have dropped eight of 10 and are fading in the Western Conference.
Wild forward Zach Parise missed the game to be with his ailing father — former player J.P. Parise — who has lung cancer.
“You know, everyone cares about each other in here,” Wild defenceman Ryan Suter said. “Life is so much bigger than hockey and he definitely made the right decision to be with his family. We’re all thinking about him.”
Joe Pavelski and Tommy Wingels scored 1:14 apart to give San Jose a 3-2 lead at 7:35 of the third period.
Minnesota’s Jason Zucker tipped in a pass from Charlie Coyle at 12:12 for his second goal of the game, tying it 3-3 and temporarily helping the Wild regain momentum.
But Kuemper couldn’t stop Vlasic’s shot in overtime, which left Wild coach Mike Yeo frustrated.
“It’s a tricky one, trying to be sensitive to his confidence. But that goal in overtime can’t go in,” Yeo said.
Zucker and Jared Spurgeon scored in the first period to give Minnesota a 2-0 lead. Zucker’s goal came after goalie Alex Stalock had the puck knocked away by Jason Pominville as he handled it near the side of the net.
“We have a 2-1 lead going into the third. We can’t let that one slip away,” Zucker said. “But then we battled back. We really could have used that second point.”
San Jose’s Melker Karlsson scored for the third straight game midway through the second to get the Sharks on the board.
San Jose brought enough energy to rally on Tuesday despite playing its third game in four nights. The Sharks snapped a seven-game, road-losing streak to Minnesota.
Next up for San Jose, following an off day, is a rematch with St. Louis on Thursday.
“The St. Louis game we didn’t play. We played shinny hockey, basically,” Vlasic said. “We weren’t very good. We have a day off (Wednesday) so we’ll feel refreshed and go into St. Louis where we owe them a better game.”
NOTES: Sharks C Tomas Hertl played despite getting 16 to 18 stitches to close a cut on his upper lip after being hit by a puck while on the bench Monday at Winnipeg. … Wild D Marco Scandella missed the third period with an undisclosed injury. … Minnesota recalled D Justin Falk from AHL Iowa. … Linesman Ryan Galloway was struck by a puck in the side of the head and was bleeding when he left the game early in the third period. He returned with about 3 minutes left.<