ST. PAUL, Minn. — Logan Couture scored twice and Martin Jones made 26 saves for his first shutout this season and the 20th of his career in the San Jose Sharks’ 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Joe Pavelski added his 21st goal for San Jose, which has won five straight games and seven of eight. Sharks rookie Lukas Radil had an empty-net goal and one assist.
Devan Dubnyk stopped 21 shots for Minnesota, which has lost seven of 10.
A lethargic start for both teams turned in San Jose’s favour in the second period as Couture and Pavelski scored 29 seconds apart.
Radil sent a no-look pass from behind the Wild net out front to Couture, who was crashing the net and buried a one-timer. Tomas Hertl sprung Pavelski on a breakaway for the second goal.
Pavelski has eight goals in the past 11 games. Hertl had two assists and has multiple points in four of the last five games.
A game after being pulled against Chicago when he allowed three goals on the first seven shots, Jones responded against Minnesota.
As the Sharks took control in the second, Minnesota went without a shot for 12 minutes as the Wild’s struggles continued. Minnesota was shut out for the second time in six games.
Couture added his second goal and fifth in six games just 51 seconds into the third.
NOTES: Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu returned after missing four games with a lower-body injury. Jason Zucker was back in the lineup after missing a game with an illness. … The Wild were without D Matt Dumba, who sustained an upper-body injury in the previous game against Calgary. Dumba leads NHL defencemen with 12 goals this season. Nate Prosser took Dumba’s spot in the lineup. Prosser had been scratched the previous eight games and was playing just his third game of the season. … San Jose forward Timo Meier fought Minnesota D Greg Pateryn in the second period. It was Meier’s first career fight in 147 games. … The Sharks are 14-1-2 when leading after two periods. … The Wild have killed off all 13 of their penalties over the past seven games. They entered second in the NHL with an 85.6 per cent rate on their penalty kill.
Sharks: Return home to face Winnipeg on Thursday.
Wild: Play at Pittsburgh on Thursday.
More AP NHL: www.apnews.com/NHL and www.twitter.com/AP_Sports
Brian Hall, The Associated Press