Matt Hackett made 34 saves in his NHL debut in relief of an injured Josh Harding and Mikko Koivu recorded a goal and an assist as the Minnesota Wild edged the host San Jose Sharks 2-1 on Tuesday.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard scored the game-winner on the power play and former Shark Dany Heatley recorded an assist for the Wild, who have won five straight and 10 of their last 12.
Hackett, who was added to the roster with top goaltender Niklas Backstrom out with a groin injury, was forced into action only 1:11 into the game when Harding suffered a neck injury. Harding was hit in the face by teammate Nick Schultz, who was trying to block San Jose forward Joe Pavelski.
Pavelski had scored 11 seconds earlier to give the Sharks an early lead.
With Hackett holding strong despite facing 15 shots in the first period alone, Minnesota tied it up with 2:19 left in the first. Heatley’s wrister was blocked but Koivu was on the doorstep to clean up the rebound, backhanding it awkwardly past Antti Niemi.
Heatley drew a boarding penalty with 1:52 left in the first, giving the Wild the rest of the period to work the power play. They finally cashed in the chance with 12 seconds left, when Bouchard took a feed from Koivu and wrested it from the left point over Niemi’s shoulder.