ST. PAUL – Marc-Edouard Vlasic did it again.
For the second time in two nights the defenseman scored the deciding goal, when his overtime blast beat Darcy Kuemper at 3:09 the extra period in a 4-3 Sharks win. On Monday night, Vlasic scored the game-winning goal with under five seconds to go in regulation to lift the Sharks to a 3-2 win in Winnipeg.
Tuesday's game-winner was his first career overtime goal, and helped the Sharks end a seven-game losing streak in Minnesota. They improved to 22-14-5 in reaching the halfway point of the regular season.
Shortly after losing the puck at the offensive blue line, Vlasic worked a give-and-go with Justin Braun in the neutral zone. He skated to the top of the circle and unleashed a bullet that glanced off of the near post and into the cage for his sixth goal.
The Sharks fought back from a 2-0 first period hole.
Midway through regulation, Brent Burns’ rim took a strange bounce off of the glass, and Melker Karlsson capitalized after scooping up puck alone in front of the Wild net. The rookie slipped a backhand through Kuemper for his third goal in as many games, getting the Sharks back to within 2-1 midway through regulation.
Joe Pavelski – who nearly tied the game on a couple great chances in the second period – finally managed to score in the third period. After an offensive zone faceoff win by Logan Couture, Pavelski fired a shot high into the near corner for his team-leading 21st goal at 6:21 of the final frame.
One minute and 14 seconds later, the Sharks took their first lead on Tommy Wingels’ first goal in 14 games. The winger softly threw the puck towards the crease, and Kuemper kicked out a perfect rebound to Wingels’ stick for his 10th goal.
It didn’t last, as Jason Zucker charged towards the net behind Justin Braun and redirected a dish from along the wall by former Sharks first round draft pick Charlie Coyle at 12:12. Zucker scored two of the three Wild goal.
The Sharks finished 2-0-1 against the sinking Wild in the season series.
San Jose also improved to 2-1-0 without center Joe Thornton, who missed his third game and is questionable for Thursday in St. Louis.
The Sharks continued to miss Thornton on the power play, especially. San Jose failed to get a shot with a man advantage in four chances over eight full minutes.
[RELATED: Sharks' Thornton skates Tuesday in Minnesota]
Minnesota scored twice in the first period to jump out in front.
The first came on a misplay by Alex Stalock, a St. Paul native making his first-ever start in his hometown. The goaltender skated below the goal line to play the puck, and was pressured into a turnover by a charging Jason Pominville. It ended up on the stick of Zucker, who easily lifted it into the open net at 15:21 before Stalock could recover.
Jared Spurgeon made it 2-0, going top shelf from Zucker after Patrick Marleau lost track of the Minnesota forward at 17:22.
After Karlsson got the Sharks on the board in the second period, Pavelski had a pair of chances to score the equalizer before the end of the middle frame. Kuemper denied him in front of the net off of a nice setup by Marleau with 8:02 to go, and about a minute later the Sharks’ goal-scoring leader found iron with a blast on a delayed Minnesota penalty.
Each team was without one of its biggest weapons. Thornton missed his third straight game with an upper body injury, while the Wild’s Zach Parise was a late scratch to be with his ailing father.
The Sharks’ power play is now just 2-for-31 over the last seven games, with one of those goals coming on a two-man advantage. Without Thornton, the Sharks are 1-for-17 over the last three games.
Minnesota finished 0-for-2 on the night, as all of the goals on both sides came in even-strength situations.
Of note was a minor for diving on Couture, who was tripped by Thomas Vanek at 11:01 of the second period.
Stalock, who beat the Wild on Dec. 11 in San Jose, made 28 saves in his fifth win.
Kuemper, who was pulled in the Wild’s previous game in Dallas, allowed four goals on 26 Sharks shots and fell to 13-13-0.
Recent call-up Freddie Hamilton made his season debut, skating in place of a scratched Tye McGinn on the fourth line. Hamilton is still looking for his first NHL point in 12 games.
Defenseman Mirco Mueller has also rejoined the team from the World Junior Championships, and was scratched.
The Wild released a statement regarding Parise just before warmups: “The Wild supports [Parise’s] decision to be with his family as his dad, J.P., battles lung cancer and asks that their privacy be respected.”
Linesman Ryan Galloway left the game at 2:04 of the third period after getting a deflected puck to the side of the face.
The Sharks conclude their road trip through the Central Division in St. Louis on Thursday. San Jose won the first game between the teams at home on Dec. 20, 3-2 in overtime, but the Blues responded with a dominant 7-2 victory over the Sharks at SAP Center last Saturday.
On Saturday, the Sharks host Dan Boyle and the New York Rangers as the team opens a stretch of eight home games out of the next nine sandwiched around the All-Star break.