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Wild beat Sharks to stretch winning streak to eight games

That’s the third-longest winning streak in franchise history, not the mention the longest active winning streak in the NHL.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — While the Vikings were busy giving fans across the Twin Cities heart palpitations on Thursday night, the Wild were doing much of the same for anyone that bothered to stay up to watch the late game against the San Jose Sharks.

After jumping out to a commanding lead, and looking like the much better team in the process, the Wild let the Sharks back into the game with a dreadful final 20 minutes.

In the end, though, the Wild held on for a 5-2 win to stretch their current winning streak to eight games. That’s the third-longest winning streak in franchise history, not the mention the longest active winning streak in the NHL.

After earning resume-building wins over Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers earlier this week, the Wild will close out the road trip over the weekend with games against the Los Angeles Kings and Vegas Golden Knights.

As for the game against the Sharks, as has become the norm over the past couple of months, the Wild jumped out to an early lead thanks to an impressive start. They controlled the pace from the initial puck drop and Kevin Fiala made 1-0 with his first goal since Nov. 20.

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It was a tap-in goal for Fiala after the puck fell essentially into his lap with a wide-open net in front of him. Looking back on it now, maybe it was that Fiala scored in that manner considering how snakebitten he’s been this season.

That score held until the second period where the Wild built on the lead, starting with a power-play goal from Joel Eriksson Ek to make it 2-0. That took the edge off, and after a few big saves from Cam Talbot between the pipes, Jordan Greenway stretched the lead to 3-0 with a power-play goal of his own.

That set the stage for the third period where the Wild took their foot of the gas for a prolonged stretch, very much like the the Vikings did earlier in the night to let the Pittsburgh Steelers back into the game.

That gave the Sharks an opening and winger Jonathan Dahlen took advantage by scoring on a deflection to cut the deficit to 3-1. That put the Wild on their heels for the remainder of the game and the Sharks got a goal from Tomas Hertl to make it 3-2.

That made things very interesting down the stretch, and while the Sharks pushed hard in the final minutes, the Wild got an empty-net goal from Greenway to make it 4-2, then an empty-net goal from Kirill Kaprizov to finalize the score at 5-2

Briefly

Alex Goligoski took a puck up high midway through the game and immediately left the ice to get repairs. Impressively, Goligoski barely missed any action and was back on the bench in a matter of minutes.

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