SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - Nearly nine years to the day and more than 700 games later, Brian Rolston celebrated another hat trick.
``I feel like I've produced pretty well in this league,'' the 10-year veteran said after the Minnesota Wild snapped a four-game road losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
``If I don't get another hat trick in nine more years, though I won't be playing that long, it will be just fine as long as we keep winning. I've had a lot of opportunities in all the other games and they don't go in. Tonight the first shot I take kind of squeezes into the net. Sometimes that's how it goes.''
For all of Rolston's heroics, the Wild received another top-notch defensive effort, especially on the penalty kill, to hand the Sharks their first home loss in five games.
Minnesota killed off eight penalties and Dwayne Roloson made 35 saves for his first win in five games.
``If we were going to have a chance to win, we've got to stay out of the box,'' Wild coach Jacque Lemaire said. ``I guess they didn't understand. The penalty kill can't be better than what we did. We overplayed some guys and we can't keep going like this.''
Marcel Goc scored for the Sharks, who also saw a five-game winning streak come to an end.
Nolan Schaefer made 22 saves, one night after earning his first career shutout and becoming the first Sharks goalie to win his first five games. He also had a 143:21 scoreless streak end, second in San Jose history to Evgeni Nabokov's 145:07.
``The team played a great game again and we outshot them,'' Schaefer said. ``They had a couple of good opportunities where I couldn't shut the door and that was the difference. Obviously Roloson played a great game.''
Since beating the Sharks 6-1 on Oct. 19, the Wild had been outscored 17-11 in their next seven games and still have not scored more than three goals since.
Rolston, who recorded his only other hat trick on Nov. 16, 1996, against the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored the winner 21 seconds after the Sharks tied it early in the third period. Alexander Daigle pushed the puck up the ice on a 2-on-1 break. Matt Foy passed across the slot to Rolston, who wristed into the net.
``Foy makes a great pass to me and it's one of those nights where it goes in for you,'' Rolston said.
Goc tied it with a shot into an open net. Roloson tried to clear the puck behind the net but Sharks winger Josh Langfeld was able to push the puck in front of the net for the easy score.
Minnesota opened the scoring with 12:53 left in the second period. On a power play, Rolston received a pass from Daigle in the corner and beat two defenders and Schaefer to squeeze the puck into the net. The Wild were scoreless in their previous 18 power-play opportunities.
``They had a little bit more energy killing penalties then we had on our power play,'' Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. ``We didn't do a good job of getting shots through from the point. They were able to get aggressive on our forwards down low and snuff things out.''
The Sharks, who have allowed just two power-play goals at home, had won three of their last five games in overtime, and scored in the final minute in the other two games.
San Jose was 0-for-8 in man-advantage situations after scoring at least one power-play goal in each of its previous seven games.
``On a penalty kill, the No. 1 thing is the goaltender,'' Rolston said. ``You have to have good goaltending and we have been getting it. We try to keep as many shots outside as we can but goal tending is everything.''
Rolston, playing in his 750th career game, added an empty-net goal in the closing seconds.
Notes: Daigle has four assists in two games against the Sharks after recording one in his previous 15 against them. ... Roloson has allowed 47 goals to the Sharks, his most against any team. ... Goc has scored in three straight games. ... Wild rookie Mikko Koivu made his NHL debut after missing the past five weeks with a strained left knee. ... The Wild improved to 7-of-90 in penalty kills.
|PPG - Brian Rolston (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexandre Daigle (8), Pierre-Marc Bouchard (8)|
1 - 0 MIN
|Marcel Goc (4) Slapshot - ASST: Josh Langfeld (2)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Brian Rolston (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Foy (2), Alexandre Daigle (9)|
2 - 1 MIN
|EN - Brian Rolston (7) Backhand shot - ASST: NONE|
3 - 1 MIN
|Dwayne Roloson Delaying Game-Ill. play goalie|
|Willie Mitchell Hooking|
|Marcel Goc Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Stephane Veilleux Hooking|
|Brian Rolston Holding the stick|
|Mark Smith Hi-sticking against Randy Robitaille|
|Mikko Koivu Tripping|
|Rob Davison Roughing|
|Rob Davison Cross checking|
|Matt Foy Hooking|
|Brian Rolston Roughing|
|Brent Burns Tripping|
|Alex Henry Hooking|
|Kyle Wanvig Holding|
|Mark Smith Holding the stick|
|Marcel Goc Tripping|