ST. PAUL, Minn. The Minnesota Wild traded Marek Zidlicky to the New Jersey Devils on Friday and knew one advantage of getting back Kurtis Foster was his big shot from the point.
What Minnesota and coach Mike Yeo didn't know was how it would affect the rest of the team's defensemen.
"I knew that we were getting in the trade a guy that was going to shoot the puck from the blue line," Yeo joked. "I didn't know that it was going to make everybody else try to shoot the puck every time they touched it too. So that was great."
The Wild got some scoring from a couple of unlikely sources and beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 on Sunday at the Xcel Energy Center, winning for the third time in four games. Cal Clutterbuck, Nick Schultz, Matt Cullen and Jed Ortmeyer scored for Minnesota (28-25-9), which rallied from a two-goal deficit to win at home for the first time since a franchise-record four-goal comeback against Chicago on Jan. 9. 2010. The Wild trailed twice against the Sharks, but Cullen and Ortmeyer scored 1 minute, 14 seconds apart and Ortmeyer's tally with 4:13 was the game-winner.
Ortmeyer, who has split time between the Minnesota Wild and the minors the past two seasons, scored an NHL goal for the first time since March 28, 2010 and Schultz added his first goal since Jan. 2, 2011, a span of 101 games.
"It's something where I don't score a lot of goals, so it's nice to chip in," Schultz said. "It's nice to be a part of the offense a little bit. Unsung heroes got to try to chip in and guys that don't normally score get some big goals for us. You have (Dany Heatley), (Devin Setoguchi), Cully, all these guys that are doing it, for the most part, night in and night out. We need other guys helping to chip in, so in that sense it feels good."
Schultz's goal was his fourth career power-play goal and his first points since Nov. 10, 2011 against the Sharks.
Even though it's been nearly two years since his last NHL goal, Ortmeyer can still remember the last time, coincidentally while playing for San Jose. Ortmeyer scored a career-high eight goals in his only season for the Sharks in 2009-10.
"Yeah, I actually do," Ortmeyer said of remembering his scoring his last goal before laughing. "It was in San Jose. I think a 2-on-1 and it banked off the d-man and went in. I think he knocked the goalie out of the way and it went in."
The third game-winning goal out of 22 career scores for Ortmeyer was a deflection from a shot by defenseman Jared Spurgeon. Yeo was pleased to see players shooting the puck from the outside and also excited to see the scoring come from somewhere other than his top line.
"We've talked about this for a while and you look at some of the wins that we've had lately, when you win games obviously there's going to be games that you win them and it's the guys that you count on to score and the guys that you expect to score," Yeo said. "But if you're going to win more than the odd game, then you're going to have to win games where you're defenseman or your power play or your third and fourth lines score. We had a little bit of all that tonight."
Cullen and Clutterbuck each scored their 14th goal of the season. Cullen scored for the third time in four games and Clutterbuck added his first goal in 11 games.
New trio makes its mark: Minnesota suited up each of the three players it acquired from New Jersey and the new players added a spark.
Foster played 15:27, blocked one shot and nearly had an assist, but Heatley was robbed by San Jose goaltender Thomas Greiss on a diving glove save in front of an open net. Forward Nick Palmeiri took two shots in 11:44 of ice time and was involved offensively.
"I thought all the new guys were very strong," Yeo said. "Start with Palms, obviously a couple of really good chances in the game, but a big body, strong on the puck, moves well. I thought he was as advertised and was very effective in the game."
Forward Stephane Veilleux, an original draft choice by the Wild and eighth all time in franchise history for games played, had one shot on goal and supplied energy with a hit on his first shift of the game.
"I was cheering," Yeo said. "I like that kind of hockey, especially when we're playing at home. We got a great crowd and they want to see some action and it's always good to send a message to the other team that you can touch the puck, but this guy might be coming to get you."
An unrestricted free agent after the season, Veilleux is happy to be back in Minnesota.
"It's great to be back in that jersey," Veilleux said. "They showed trust in me. I'm really proud to wear that jersey again and hopefully we can get a good streak the last stretch of the year."
Sharks coach leaves game: San Jose coach Todd McLellan left the game after being hit in the face by an errant stick and falling behind the bench.
McLellan was hit by the stick of a Wild player after a check near the boards by the Sharks' bench. Stretchers were brought out, but McLellan got to his feet and walked off with assistance. He was said to be responsive and watched the rest of the game on a T.V. in the locker room. McLellan was expected to travel home with the team, who played the last game of a 16-day road trip.
"He watched the game," said assistant coach Matt Shaw. "It wouldn't have been a good idea for him to come out. He was in some discomfort. He'll travel with. He was able to give his opinion between periods and he gave us some thoughts after the game."
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