4 - 5 Final - 2OT
  for this game

Cullen, Wild take down Sharks in shootout

Jan 11, 2012 - 6:13 AM
St. Paul, MN (Sports Network) - Playing in his 1,000th game, Matt Cullen scored the game-winner in the shootout as the Minnesota Wild survived for a much-needed 5-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks.

Cullen also scored in regulation along with Nick Johnson, Cal Clutterbuck and Warren Peters for the Wild, who won for just a second time in their past 13 games. Josh Harding allowed four goals on 38 shots, but did stop both skaters in the shootout.

"We let them get back into it tonight and we never want to do that," said Cullen. "But we're able to get the extra point in overtime. It was nice to get the winner on this night."

Dan Boyle had a goal and two assists, Patrick Marleau added a goal and an assist while Benn Ferriero and Logan Couture also scored for the Sharks, who had a four-game winning streak stopped. Antti Niemi made 27 stops and failed to make a save in the shootout.

"If we play the right way, we don't have to be in that position in overtime," said Marleau.

The game appeared to be locked up as Cullen's 11th of the season made it a 4-2 game with 6:20 left. He crashed the net and Casey Wellman's rebound went off his leg.

However, the Sharks scored two goals 22 seconds apart to tie the game.

The first came at the 16:54 mark, when Couture was given credit for a goal that Minnesota's Justin Falk knocked into his own net as he was trying to help clear the puck away from behind the goaltender.

Moments later, a tic-tac-toe play saw Marleau finish off the rush with a re-direct of a Joe Thornton pass.

Cullen took the first attempt of the shootout, and his low offering trickled past Niemi. After Michal Handzus' shot was stopped, Mikko Koivu faked to the backhand for the goal. Harding denied Ryane Clowe's attempt to seal the win.

Clutterbuck scored 7:04 into the first while Boyle notched a power-play goal with 3:52 to play in the opening frame.

Peters' first of the year came at the 13:26 mark of the second period, and Minnesota carried a 2-1 lead into the third.

It was a 3-1 game just 7:42 in, when Johnson's wrister from the left circle beat Niemi low. But the Sharks scored two minutes later as Marc-Edouard Vlasic's blast from the left point was tipped in by Ferriero.

Game Notes

Minnesota starts a four-game road trip in Chicago on Thursday...San Jose continues its four-game swing in Winnipeg on Thursday...Minnesota has won two of three vs. the Sharks this season...San Jose was 1-for-3 on the power play while Minnesota went 0-for-3.