Programming note: Wild-Sharks coverage starts tonight at 7:00 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live
Where they stand
Sharks: 15-11-4, 34 points, 4th Pacific Division
Wild: 15-10-1, 31 points, 5th Central Division
Sharks: The Sharks gave up an early 2-0 lead, but scored the final three goals of the night to beat Edmonton at home on Tuesday, 5-2. Joe Pavelski scored twice, Barclay Goodrow recorded his first-ever NHL goal, and Alex Stalock made 25 saves in the win. San Jose opened up a five-game homestand that continues with Nashville on Saturday, and has won its last four at SAP Center.
Wild: Minnesota erased a three-goal deficit for the first time in franchise history, beating the Islanders in an emotional match on Tuesday, 5-4. The Wild scored four times in the third period, including Thomas Vanek’s game-tying goal and the winner from Nino Niederreiter. Nicklas Backstrom needed to make just 15 saves in the victory. The Wild are opening up a three-game road trip tonight.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Mirco Mueller. The Sharks will be missing their best defenseman in Marc-Edouard Vlasic, so Mueller will likely be playing big minutes paired with Justin Braun. The 19-year-old had some nervous moments with the puck in Tuesday’s 5-2 win over Edmonton, but has played generally well considering his young age and rookie status. Mueller has one goal (against the Wild on Oct. 30), two assists and a -1 rating in 23 games.
Wild: Zach Parise. The star forward brings a five-game point streak into tonight’s game, with eight points over that span (2g, 6a). Parise leads the Wild with 22 points (10g, 12a) in 21 games, and has six multi-point games this season. In 13 career games vs. San Jose, the 30-year-old has 11 points (5g, 6a).
Goals per game: 2.80 (13th)
Goals-against per game: 2.57 (12th)
Power play: 24.2 percent (3rd)
Penalty kill: 82.8 percent (12th)
Goals per game: 2.88 (11th)
Goals-against per game: 2.46 (9th)
Power play: 11.5 percent (28th)
Penalty kill: 88.9 percent (2nd)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Barclay Goodrow – James Sheppard – Melker Karlsson
John Scott – Chris Tierney – Andrew Desjardins
Mirco Mueller – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Brent Burns
Scott Hannan – Matt Tennyson
Alex Stalock (confirmed starter)
Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Thomas Vanek
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Jason Pominville
Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Charlie Coyle
Ryan Carter – Kyle Brodziak – Justin Fontaine
Jared Spurgeon - Ryan Suter
Christian Folin - Jonas Brodin
Nate Prosser - Justin Falk
Darcy Kuemper (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic (upper body), Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (shoulder), Matt Nieto (ankle) and Mike Brown (lower body) are out.
Wild: Matt Cooke (lower body), Keith Ballard (concussion) and Marco Scandella (suspension) are out.
The Wild claimed a 4-3 shootout win in the team’s first meeting of the year on Oct. 30 at Xcel Energy Center. The season series concludes on Jan. 6 in St. Paul.
The Sharks are 28-15-8 all-time against the Wild.
Odds and ends
*The Sharks recalled forward Chris Tierney and defenseman Matt Tennyson from Worcester on Thursday morning. Tierney will be playing for the first time since Nov. 1 vs. the Islanders, while Tennyson played one game on Nov. 26 vs. Calgary.
*Brent Burns has six points (1g, 5a) in 10 games against his former team.
*Patrick Marleau has a six-game point streak (1g, 8a) and leads the Sharks with 27 points.
*Joe Pavelski’s eight power play goals is tied for the NHL lead. Since 2010-11, only Alex Ovechkin (66) and Steven Stamkos (54) have scored more goals with the man advantage than Pavelski (48).
*St. Paul native Alex Stalock will be playing the Wild for the first time in his career.
*The Wild recalled defenseman Justin Falk from AHL Iowa on Wednesday.
*Ryan Suter has 17 points (2g, 15a) in 34 career games against the Sharks.
*Minnesota is 7-0-0 in the last seven meetings with the Sharks at Xcel Energy Center, but just 1-8-1 in the last 10 at SAP Center.
“I thought we did pretty well. You’re paying with a lot of different guys and different pieces. You’re not used to a lot of them. I thought for the most part, guys did pretty well meshing together.” – Justin Braun, on playing most of Tuesday’s win against Edmonton without partner Marc-Edouard Vlasic