Zach Parise's goal leads Wild past Sharks 2-0

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) As well as Darcy Kuemper has played in place of the injured Devan Dubnyk, he hadn't got rewarded with a win as a starter.

Zach Parise helped change that.

Parise broke a scoreless tie early in the third period and Kuemper made it stand up with his sixth career shutout to help the Minnesota Wild get a rare win in San Jose, 2-0 over the Sharks on Saturday night.

''It's nice to see for him mentally to get the win, get the shutout and get rewarded for how well he has been playing,'' Parise said.

In two starts since Dubnyk injured his groin, Kuemper allowed just one regulation goal before losing each game 2-1 in overtime. When Parise gave him the lead in the third, Kuemper made sure not to squander it, finishing with 25 saves.

''When we got the one I was like now I need to get the shutout for my own sanity,'' he said.'' It looked like another tight game but that's just how we've been playing on the road here, tight defensively.''

Mikko Koivu added an empty-net goal for the Wild, who have allowed just three regulation goals in the past six games.

Martin Jones made 28 saves but couldn't stop Parise's rebound attempt as the Sharks dropped their sixth straight game. It's their longest losing streak since losing seven in a row in February 2013.

''We have to go back to the drawing board,'' captain Joe Pavelski said. ''We need to simplify, I think. It feels like we deserve a little better at times. For whatever reason it hasn't happened. We need to get over that little hump now and break this little funk we're in.''

San Jose's home-ice woes continued as the once-imposing Shark Tank has become quite hospitable to visitors. The Sharks fell to 4-9 at home this season and have lost 20 of the past 29 games here.

Shortly after Mike Brown was stopped by Kuemper on a 2-on-1 early in the third, the Wild finally broke through with the game's first goal.

Parise took a pass from Mikael Granlund alone in front of the net and was stopped on a backhand by Jones. But Parise stayed with the play and whacked the rebound in with a forehand for his second goal in three games.

''I saw Granlund had the full control and looked like they were all looking up-ice and no one saw me so I just went to the front of the net and he was able to find me,'' Parise said.

Parise had gone six weeks without a goal before breaking through Monday in Colorado. He missed eight games with a lower-body injury and was goalless in nine others.

That goal ended Minnesota's five-game losing streak in San Jose and was just the third win for the Wild in their past 17 games here.

''That was a game where one mistake was probably going to win the game,'' Sharks coach Peter DeBoer said. ''You think as the game went on you realized that. They made some mistakes but we couldn't capitalize on them. They capitalized on ours. That was the hockey game.''

The Sharks juggled their lines looking for a spark after their recent slump, splitting up Pavelski and Joe Thornton for the first time this season. Outside of a few strong shifts early, the changes did not pay immediate dividends as San Jose struggled even to generate prime scoring chances.

Things are so out of whack that even the traditional shark head that players skate through to come on the ice before the game wasn't working. The team said that it was not lowered because of technical difficulties.

NOTES: Kuemper is the first Wild goalie to record a shutout in San Jose since Manny Fernandez did it Nov. 21, 2001. ... Sharks D Marc-Edourd Vlasic returned after missing three games with a lower-body injury. ... San Jose F Ryan Carpenter was called up from the minors and made his NHL debut with Logan Couture and Matt Nieto sidelined with injuries.