SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ Manny Fernandez tried to keep himself composed as
Minnesota's lead dwindled. He figured the calmer he looked, the more relaxed
his young teammates would be.
In the end it worked out.
Zbynek Michalek and Alexandre Daigle scored goals 1:35 apart in the second
period, and the Wild ended a seven-game winless streak with a 4-3 victory
Tuesday night over the San Jose Sharks.
Matt Johnson and Alex Henry also scored as the Wild snapped a six-game
winless skid on the road.
``I think everybody was nervous at the end,'' said Fernandez, who won for
the first time in 16 games by stopping 31 of 34 shots. ``I told myself if I at
least look like I've got it together maybe it's the confidence builder the guys
``I tried to keep that confidence in my mind and in my eyes by not
panicking, and making saves.''
Despite being outshot 14-2 in the final period, the Wild hung on for the
``It was tough toward the end, but Manny made great saves a couple of
times,'' said Minnesota coach Jacques Lemaire. ``It's a great win for the
The Wild, who traded away several veterans over the past few days, have been
relying on a handful of newcomers. Michalek, for example, scored his first NHL
``It's fun to play with the lead,'' Fernandez said. ``I think we all enjoyed
it. I wish it could happen a lot more. We were making good plays and getting
Alexander Korolyuk scored twice for the Sharks, who lost at home for the
first time in nine games and third straight overall. Scott Hannan also scored
for San Jose.
Sharks goalie Evgeni Nabokov was honored for his 25th career shutout 10 days
ago in a brief ceremony before the game. But he has allowed 11 goals in losing
his last three games. Nabokov won his previous five games, giving up 10 goals.
The Sharks failed to increase their two-point lead in the Pacific Division
after the Dallas Stars lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-0.
``I don't know what we did. We just didn't come out to play hard,'' Hannan
said. ``I don't know if we underestimated them, but we can't afford to do that.
We had a chance to pick up a couple of points on Dallas and get some breathing
room there and we can't afford to have these kind of games this time of the
The Sharks opened the scoring in the first two minutes on a goal by
Korolyuk. Nils Ekman sent a pass across the front of the goal after getting his
defender on the ground and drawing Fernandez to his side.
Minnesota responded 10 minutes later when Johnson, who scored his first goal
in 22 games, fired in a shot from the top of the crease after receiving a pass
from Eric Chouinard.
The Wild went ahead 2-1 with just under four minutes left in the first
period when Henry went top shelf off the rebound of his own shot, which bounced
off Nabokov's pads.
Michalek increased the lead at 11:46 of the second period with a slap shot
near the point off a faceoff. Daigle scored less than two minutes later, ending
Hannan scored at 15:45 of the third period, slapping a loose puck by
Korolyuk scored his second goal of the night to make it 4-3 with 5:51
remaining. He skated with the puck through three defenders and beat Fernandez
Minnesota was outshot 14-2 in the final period.