SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -- Nearly nine years to the day and more
than 700 games later, Brian Rolston celebrated another hat trick.
"I feel like I've produced pretty well in this league," the
10-year veteran said after the Minnesota Wild snapped a four-game
road losing streak with a 3-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks on
"If I don't get another hat trick in nine more years, though I
won't be playing that long, it will be just fine as long as we keep
winning. I've had a lot of opportunities in all the other games and
they don't go in. Tonight the first shot I take kind of squeezes
into the net. Sometimes that's how it goes."
For all of Rolston's heroics, the Wild received another
top-notch defensive effort, especially on the penalty kill, to hand
the Sharks their first home loss in five games.
Minnesota killed off eight penalties and Dwayne Roloson made 35
saves for his first win in five games.
"If we were going to have a chance to win, we've got to stay
out of the box," Wild coach Jacque Lemaire said. "I guess they
didn't understand. The penalty kill can't be better than what we
did. We overplayed some guys and we can't keep going like this."
Marcel Goc scored for the Sharks, who also saw a five-game
winning streak come to an end.
Nolan Schaefer made 22 saves, one night after earning his first
career shutout and becoming the first Sharks goalie to win his
first five games. He also had a 143:21 scoreless streak end, second
in San Jose history to Evgeni Nabokov's 145:07.
"The team played a great game again and we outshot them,"
Schaefer said. "They had a couple of good opportunities where I
couldn't shut the door and that was the difference. Obviously
Roloson played a great game."
Since beating the Sharks 6-1 on Oct. 19, the Wild had been
outscored 17-11 in their next seven games and still have not scored
more than three goals since.
Rolston, who recorded his only other hat trick on Nov. 16, 1996,
against the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored the winner 21 seconds after
the Sharks tied it early in the third period. Alexander Daigle
pushed the puck up the ice on a 2-on-1 break. Matt Foy passed
across the slot to Rolston, who wristed into the net.
"Foy makes a great pass to me and it's one of those nights
where it goes in for you," Rolston said.
Goc tied it with a shot into an open net. Roloson tried to clear
the puck behind the net but Sharks winger Josh Langfeld was able to
push the puck in front of the net for the easy score.
Minnesota opened the scoring with 12:53 left in the second
period. On a power play, Rolston received a pass from Daigle in the
corner and beat two defenders and Schaefer to squeeze the puck into
the net. The Wild were scoreless in their previous 18 power-play
"They had a little bit more energy killing penalties then we
had on our power play," Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. "We didn't
do a good job of getting shots through from the point. They were
able to get aggressive on our forwards down low and snuff things
The Sharks, who have allowed just two power-play goals at home,
had won three of their last five games in overtime, and scored in
the final minute in the other two games.
San Jose was 0-for-8 in man-advantage situations after scoring
at least one power-play goal in each of its previous seven games.
"On a penalty kill, the No. 1 thing is the goaltender,"
Rolston said. "You have to have good goaltending and we have been
getting it. We try to keep as many shots outside as we can but goal
tending is everything."
Rolston, playing in his 750th career game, added an empty-net
goal in the closing seconds.
Daigle has four assists in two games against the Sharks
after recording one in his previous 15 against them. ... Roloson
has allowed 47 goals to the Sharks, his most against any team. ...
Goc has scored in three straight games. ... Wild rookie Mikko Koivu
made his NHL debut after missing the past five weeks with a
strained left knee. ... The Wild improved to 7-of-90 in penalty
Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press
Arena: SAP Center Location: San Jose, California
Referees: Tom Kowal, Bill McCreary Linesmen: Mike Cvik, Pat Dapuzzo
Attendance: 17,496 (100.0% full)
Team Stat Comparison
Power Play Goals
Power Play Opportunities
Shots on Goal
No scoring this period
Brian Rolston (5)
(Power Play) Assists: Alexandre Daigle, Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Marcel Goc (4)
Assist: Josh Langfeld
Brian Rolston (6)
Assists: Matt Foy, Alexandre Daigle