San Jose now has four wins in a row, tying their longest winning streak of the season. The 4-3 victory against Minnesota propelled San Jose back into a playoff position, showing how every win is crucial at this point of the campaign.
“A win is a win right now,” Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan said. “The Vancouver win was rewarding because they’re a very good team and we played well in their building. Coming back here was had to play against one of the hottest teams in the league and again we found a way to win. I don’t want it to be diminished or expanded anymore than it is. It’s a win and it’s very important.”
“We’re playing well right now,” Joe Thornton
said. “All these teams we are beating are ahead of us in the standings, so they really are must win games and we must get points. That was another huge win for us tonight. The team’s working hard and we’re buying into the system the coaches have for us and it’s paying off for us.”
Devin Setoguchi had two tallies on the night and it ended a nine game pointless streak. There is no doubt when “Seto” is going, there is an extra surge with the Sharks offense.
“Our scoring depth, if Jumbo, Patty, Pavs, our top-six aren’t producing goals, they have to come from somewhere and I think everybody in our organization, fans, you guys as well, expect Seto to produce offensively this season,” McLellan said. “I know I did. In the games where he scores I think we have four or five wins now and one overtime loss or somewhere in that range. So when he scores it’s a lot of pressure off other people and it makes it a little easier on some.”
Setoguchi found a way to put his stick on the puck both times to create goals that weren't simple tap ins.
“I was going to the net and got a tip on one and the first one I got another tip in the air and got the rebound,” Setoguchi said.
There was a video review required to ensure the second one stayed on the board.
“I wasn’t sure,” Setoguchi said of whether he highsticked the puck in. “It’s one of those where you feel like it could go either way. I couldn’t do anything about it, but it feels good (now). If it was during that six game (losing) stretch, it wouldn’t have counted.”
Setoguchi had a chance for the hat trick in the third with a one-timer he blasted from the slot.
“I’ll look at the replay, but it was kind of a tough position where it was almost a direct pass straight across so it’s hard to open the hips and get it,” Setoguchi said. “I got it off, but it would have been nice if I got turned a little more and got the third one. We won and that was the main thing.”
The first Setoguchi tally was the result of some amazing stick work by Patrick Marleau
on a rush.
“I don’t’ know how he settled that puck down and got it to Seto, but that’s a great play by a great player,” Thornton said.
On Benn Ferriero
’s game-winner, it was another great play by a great player as Thornton set up the tally and then Ferriero displayed some strong intelligence in forcing Niklas Backstrom to the ice.
“Benny, what patience he had on that goal,” Thornton said. “For him to make that play was great.”
“He was sliding across, slid a little too far and I put it in the open net,” Ferriero said.
The players aren’t shying away from the fact their four-game winning streak began when their dads hit town.
“They brought in a different type of energy here and I don’t think it’s by coincidence,” Thornton said. “You always play good in front of your dad or you kind of get a slap on the bum once in a while. I like to believe that started the whole thing.”
The Sharks 25 shots in the second period tied their season high this year, which was also accomplished in the club’s last game at Vancouver (1/20/11), also in the second period. It fell one shy of the team’s all-time record for shots in a period of 26 set on 10/4/99 vs. Chicago.
3 FOR 3Logan Couture
scored a goal, giving him three goals in his last three games and 22 on the season. He continues to lead all NHL rookies in goals.
With an assist in the third period, Joe Thornton
now has nine points (3-6=9) in his last six games.
WILD HEAD COACH TODD RICHARDS
“We had trouble handling their speed. They were coming. They were coming hard tonight. You have to give credit to them. In the first period I thought they had a couple more opportunities. But I still felt that a 1- 1 score coming out of the first was a decent period.”
“I don’t think we really had our legs yet. But we give them full marks in the second. They did the same thing to Vancouver the other night in the second period. They staged a replay tonight in watching that second period here. Again, they were coming extremely hard.”
“The one thing that really hurt us was losing Schultzy (Nick Schultz) in the first period. It’s an upper body injury right now and we’ll have to re-evaluate it in the morning.”
San Jose will visit Los Angeles Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. and the game will be on CSN California, 98.5 KFOX and www.sjsharks.com.