Sharks' Burns ‘blacked out' on ‘disgusting' goal vs. Wild


Brent Burns scored the goal of the season at precisely the right time for the Sharks.

Burns dangled through the Minnesota Wild's defense and roofed a backhand shot over goaltender Kaapo Kähkönen's right shoulder for the game-winning goal with 1:38 remaining in San Jose's 5-3 win over Minnesota on Sunday.

The 35-year-old would be hard-pressed to find a better goal among the 212 he has scored in his NHL career.

"It starts with Tomas Hertl with a great draw," Burns told Sharks TV broadcasters Randy Hahn and Bret Hedican after the win. "He wins it. These guys have blocked so many shots, and it was another one that they blocked. Luckily it kind of stayed there, and I don't know what happened after that. I kind of blacked out, I think."

Burns said it felt "weird" to score in front of an empty crowd at Xcel Energy Center, and defenseman Mario Ferraro gave him a hard time for being the only person anyone could hear yelling after the goal. Winger Ryan Donato, who scored the Sharks' first goal of the night in his second game since Minnesota traded him to San Jose this offseason, might've yelled, too, had he not been in awe of Burns' backhander.

"That was disgusting, for lack of a better term," Donato said in a postgame video conference with reporters. "That was a very highly-skilled play by a guy that can score goals. At that point in the game to do that, it's unbelievable."

The Sharks led 3-1 just beyond the halfway point of the second period, but the Wild scored with just over three minutes remaining in the second and tied the game with just under 13 left in the third. San Jose held a slight edge in 5-on-5 shot attempts in the third period (15-13), but Minnesota pressed for a go-ahead goal and even drew a late power play as the clock inched closer to the end of regulation.

Both of the Sharks' previous two wins this season required a shootout, and they appeared destined for (at least) 3-on-3 overtime once more prior to Burns' moment of magic.

"We were taking on a little water," coach Bob Boughner said of the Wild's push before Burns' game-winning goal. "We had some kills in the third period, at that point in time, you're trying to maintain at least the point and trying to win it in overtime. If you get a break, great. But guys like that, elite players, they find ways to make huge differences in the game, and that's exactly what Burnzie did."

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Burns led all Sharks in ice time (27:31), and San Jose out-attempted Minnesota 21-16 in the defenseman's 5-on-5 minutes. He also recorded three shots on goal, which he now has done in all six games this season. Burns, as of this writing, is tied with Vegas Golden Knights blueliner Shea Theodore for the NHL's lead in shots by defensemen (22).

While Burns ended Sunday with a new clip to lead his highlight reel, he also was happy the Sharks had a performance to build upon moving forward. After losing Friday to the Wild, Burns said San Jose "[had] to win" Sunday in Minnesota. His goal couldn't have been more timely, both for the Sharks' outcome against the Wild and for their record -- which now stands at 3-3-0 -- ahead of a four-game stretch against the Stanley Cup-contending Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights.

"I felt like that was probably our best game, by far, that we've played so far," Burns said in a postgame video conference with reporters. "Most complete, competed hard. That would've been a tough one to lose. ... We were up, so that was nice to get that and feel good about it. I think that game was coming."

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