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Wild clinches NHL playoff berth with overtime win over San Jose


The Wild is officially playoff-bound.

A 5-4 overtime win over the Sharks on Sunday in front of 19,029 at the Xcel Energy Center sealed the team’s spot, 12th in franchise history and ninth in the last 10 years, and in the process, the Wild reached 100 points for the fifth time. and fourth in the past eight seasons.

At 101, the Wild remain third in the Central Division, one point behind second-placed Blues, who also won on Sunday to maintain the positioning they snatched from the Wild with an overtime win on Saturday.

Kevin Fiala capped a four-point effort with his 30th goal of the season 1 minute, 5 seconds into overtime.

Prior to that, a deflection from Fiala tied the game at 8:54 in the third after San Jose took the lead on a shorthanded count from Nick Bonino at 1:37.

The Wild actually led by two goals early in the first period on shots 1:25 from their blue line: Dmitry Kulikov (6:04) and captain Jared Spurgeon (7:29).

But the Sharks haven’t faded despite a nine-game losing streak throughout the season.

A Rudolfs Balcers shot went five holes on Wild goalkeeper Marc-André Fleury at 9:38 of the first, then Matt Nieto scored the equalizer at 1:19 of the second of the run.

Matt Boldy pulled the puck out of circulation and wired it through San Jose goaltender James Reimer at 6:37 to regain the lead for the Wild, but the Sharks fought back again when Noah Gregor buried a rebound behind Fleury 11:11 after the start of the second.

Fiala also assisted on a pair of goals to total 12 points during a six-game point streak. His line finished with nine points; Boldy had an assist to go with his goal and Gaudreau had three assists.

Boldy (five games) and Gaudreau (four) are on career point streaks. In total, Boldy has 14 goals, he joined Kirill Kaprizov and Filip Kuba as the only rookies in Wild history to register 20 assists.

Fleury made 26 saves and Reimer made 23.

The Wild went 0-for-5 on the power play and San Jose was 0-for-3.

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