The Minnesota Wild are finding some of the NHL's toughest competition to be easy pickings in December, as they beat the Sharks 3-1 Sunday for their third win in four contests this month.
After beating the NHL-best Chicago Blackhawks last week, Minnesota took a big step back, with Niklas Backstrom getting lit up in net against Columbus Friday, one of the NHL's worst teams.
With Harding back in net in the early evening Sunday, the Wild atoned for a lackluster performance Friday, as the goalie stopped 37 San Jose shots for his 16th win in 21 starts this season.
Mikko Koivu scored his seventh goal of the year, and his net-finder was sandwiched between two Zach Parise goals, the last of which clinched Minnesota's victory after San Jose pulled within a goal late.
Parise now has 14 goals on the season, tied with Jason Pominville for the team lead and 10th in the league.
The Wild get back to work Wednesday, a late one out west against Anaheim, with puck drop coming at 9:30 p.m.