SAN JOSE, Calif. - Patrick Marleau reflexively got his stick up in time to make enough contact to score yet again. It's just the kind of season he's having.
Marleau scored his NHL-leading 36th and 37th goals, Jason Demers also scored twice, and Joe Pavelski had the winner in the San Jose Sharks' 5-2 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.
Dany Heatley set up Marleau's final goal with a crossing pass that hit off Marek Zidlicky's skates and into the air in front of the net. Marleau alertly put his stick up and punched it into the back of the net.
"I just hoped for the best," said Marleau, one off his career high set last season. "It was just at the right height and I happened to get a stick on it."
Evgeni Nabokov made 36 saves to help San Jose win for the sixth time in seven games.
Owen Nolan and Cal Clutterbuck scored for the Wild, who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Josh Harding, who is playing with a sore hip because Niklas Backstrom was worse off with a sore back, made 31 saves.
"I like the way the guys battled and competed," said Wild coach Todd Richards, a former San Jose assistant. "We played hard. The first period was a tremendous pace and I thought we outplayed them in the second period despite heading into the third period down 3-2."
The first six goals were scored on power plays.
"It was a strange game but we won and I can't complain," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We played OK and I'm happy with that."
Demers became just the third Sharks' defenceman to record a multigoal game in franchise history, and McLellan was even more impressed with his special teams' play.
"It was one of his better games this season and not just because of his offence," the second-year coach said. "In penalty kill situations he broke up plays that were very close."
Pavelski scored the go-ahead goal with just over three minutes left in the second period.
The Wild struck quickly, with Nolan wristing a shot past Nabokov 6:25 into the game. Nolan, who hurt his right wrist Thursday night in a 1-0 win over Colorado, scored his 13th goal of the season and the first in six games.
Demers answered from just inside the blue-line five minutes later.
Clutterbuck made it 2-1 with 18 seconds left in the first period, squeezing the puck past a startled Nabokov after taking a nifty pass from Kyle Brodziak.
Demers scored an unassisted goal early in the second period. Pavelski scored on a breakaway after taking a pass from Marleau, and Marleau scored both of his goals in the final 7 minutes.
NOTES: Nolan has eight goals in his last seven games against his former team. ... Pavelski has six goals and seven assists in his last seven games. ... The Wild have lost six of their last seven road games. ... Nabokov is 10-0-1 in his last 11 games against Minnesota. ... Belanger has points in nine of his last 12 games. ... The Wild allowed a franchise high in power-play goals. ... Current Sharks general manager Doug Wilson and Dan Boyle are the other defencemen to have multigoal games for San Jose.