Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi made their returns to San Jose on Thursday night, but it was Patrick Marleau that came up big for the home team. Marleau scored two power play goals, and the San Jose Sharks ended the Minnesota Wild's five-game winning streak by handing them a 3-1 loss at the Shark Tank.
After a scoreless first period of play, San Jose took a man advantage early in the second period, when Pierre-Marc Bouchard took a hooking penalty just 1:41 into the frame. Less than a minute later, Marleau was celebrating his first goal of the evening, beating Niklas Backstrom to give San Jose a 1-0 lead. The Sharks were on the power play again after a tripping call on Marco Scandella, and Marleau cashed in again to make the lead 2-0.
Before the second period closed out, San Jose's Torrey Mitchell registered his first goal of the season, and Minnesota was looking at a 3-0 deficit going into the second period break.
Kyle Brodziak got the Wild on the board in the second period with his third goal of the year at the 13:33 mark, but it would prove not to be enough. That was the only score the Wild would get on the evening.
The loss leaves the Wild just one point behind the Edmonton Oilers in the NHL's Northwest Division. They have 19 points and a record of 8-4-3. The Sharks also have 19 points after Thursday night's contest, and they are tied with the Wild for the fourth-highest point total in the Western Conference.
Minnesota will take Friday off before back-to-back games on Saturday and Sunday night against the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.