Sharks-Wild coverage gets underway at 5:00 p.m. on NBCSN
Where they stand
Sharks: 21-14-5, 47 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Wild: 18-15-4, 40 points, 7th Central Division
Sharks: Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored with less than five seconds remaining in regulation to give the Sharks a 3-2 win over the Jets at MTS Centre on Monday night. Brent Burns (power play) and Melker Karlsson also scored in the win, as San Jose improved to 1-1 with Joe Thornton on the injured list. After tonight, the Sharks complete their three-game road trip in St. Louis on Thursday and host the Rangers on Saturday.
Wild: Minnesota was spanked in Dallas on Saturday, 7-1, in what was their worst defeat of the season. Thomas Vanek scored the lone goal in his 700th NHL game, while Darcy Kuemper allowed four goals to take the loss before he was relieved by Niklas Backstrom, who allowed three himself. The Wild are just 2-4-3 in their last nine games, and are kicking off a three-game homestand.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Melker Karlsson. The rookie continues to impress, and has goals in back-to-back games, including last night in Winnipeg. Karlsson took advantage of getting bumped up to a line with Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski, and now has three goals and four assists for seven points in his first 11 career NHL games.
Wild: Ryan Suter. The Wild defenseman leads the NHL in time-on-ice per game (29:29), but hasn’t scored a goal since opening night and has a -13 rating in his last 15 games. The 29-year-old has 17 points (2g, 15a) and a -9 rating in 35 career games against San Jose.
Goals per game: 2.68 (18th)
Goals-against per game: 2.52 (11th)
Power play: 21.4 percent (7th)
Penalty kill: 80.9 percent (15th)
Goals per game: 2.76 (15th)
Goals-against per game: 2.84 (22nd)
Power play: 15.1 percent (25th)
Penalty kill: 85.1 percent (7th)
Melker Karlsson – Logan Couture – Joe Pavelski
Barclay Goodrow – Patrick Marleau – Tommy Wingels
Tomas Hertl – James Sheppard – Matt Nieto
John Scott – Andrew Desjardins – Tye McGinn
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Brent Burns
Matt Irwin – Matt Tennyson
Zach Parise – Mikko Koivu – Jason Pominville
Justin Fontaine – Kyle Brodziak – Thomas Vanek
Jason Zucker – Charlie Coyle – Nino Niederreiter
Matt Cooke – Erik Haula – Ryan Carter
Ryan Suter – Jonas Brodin
Marco Scandella – Jared Spurgeon
Nate Prosser – Christian Folin
Sharks: Tomas Hertl (face) is questionable. Joe Thornton (upper body), Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (left shoulder) and Mike Brown (broken right fibula) are out.
Wild: Keith Ballard (concussion) and Mikael Granlund (wrist) are on injured reserve. Brett Sutter (illness) is day-to-day.
This is the third and final meeting of the season between the two teams.
Minnesota beat the Sharks 4-3 in a shootout at Xcel Energy Center on Oct. 30, while San Jose skated to a 2-1 win on Dec. 11 at SAP Center without injured defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
The Wild have won the last seven games between the teams in St. Paul. The Sharks are 28-15-8 all-time vs. Minnesota.
Odds and ends
*Freddie Hamilton is expected to join the Sharks in Minnesota after getting recalled yesterday.
*Joe Pavelski has a three-game point streak (3g, 2a) and leads the Sharks with 20 goals and 35 points.
*Brent Burns has six points against his former team (1g, 5a) in 10 games.
*Justin Braun, Matt Tennyson and Alex Stalock are all from the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
*Antti Niemi has 30 shutouts since 2009-10, tied for second in the league and trailing only Henrik Lundqvist (35).
*Minnesota is 10-4-4 at home and 8-11-0 on the road.
“I couldn't be happier to get the win and fix what was broken. We didn't play very well against St. Louis the other night and this Winnipeg team plays a similar game - heavy, hard, and a lot of pinching. I thought we did a much better job tonight, so to get the reward at the end of the night was icing on the cake, and now we’ve got to keep that recipe going.” – Todd McLellan