SAN JOSE, Calif. – Bonus hockey hasn't been a disappointment for the Wild this season.
In the five games that have ended in overtime, the Wild has won four of them – improvement after years of struggling when three periods weren't enough to declare a winner.
The team had a chance to continue that trend Monday after sitting even with the Sharks through regulation Monday night at SAP Center.
Instead, the team put on a clunky display in the extra session after losing five of six faceoffs and ultimately fell in an eight-round shootout to lose 4-3 in its first game back after a three-day break.
"You start with the puck, it's hard to get [it] off you, clearly, with 3-on-3," coach Dean Evason said. "It's been a concern for us basically all year, so we gotta correct it."
The team's faceoff issues in overtime weren't an aberration; San Jose had the edge all night, winning 58 percent.
Luke Johnson, who was recalled from the minors to the taxi squad before getting promoted to the lineup Monday to center the fourth line, was a bright spot – going 6-for-7. But overall, the Wild struggled – especially in overtime.
Although the team won the initial draw, it was chasing the Sharks and the puck for most of the 5-minute period because it kept losing faceoffs. That prevented the Wild from gaining possession and really testing San Jose goalie Martin Jones, who made just one save in overtime.
At 45.8 percent, the Wild ranks 30th in the NHL in faceoff win percentage.
"We had plenty of opportunities where that puck spits straight across and they collect it and we don't," Evason said. "Those are the ones that have to be won by the team not just the center-ice men."
The shootout was the first of the season for the Wild, and it was a marathon – lasting eight rounds, which is tied for the fourth longest in team history. An 11-round showdown with Anaheim on Feb.17, 2018, is the record.
Kevin Fiala and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Wild, while Kirill Kaprizov, Marcus Johansson, Nick Bjugstad, Victor Rask, Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman were blanked.
The shootout finish by Fiala was another example of the groove the winger has rediscovered in the offensive zone.
Aside from tying the game at 3 to send the game to overtime, his 10th goal of the season, Fiala also set up the Wild's first goal by Johansson – his third two-point game of the season. Fiala has three points in his last two games and six in his last eight.
"Getting good looks, not cheating the game, which is key for him," Evason said. "He's not getting his looks because he's blowing zones. He's staying involved and staying committed and competing both ends of the rink. So, he continues to do that he obviously has the skill set to produce."
The shootout loss ended the Wild's win streak at three, and there were repercussions in the standings.
Although the Wild didn't lose its third-place spot, the distance to second and first grew after the Golden Knights and Avalanche won. The Wild now trails No.1 Vegas by five points and No.2 Colorado by four.