Programming note: Watch tonight’s Sharks-Wild game on NBC Sports Network at 5:00 p.m.
ST. PAUL – Sharks forward Tomas Hertl is expected to be in the lineup against Minnesota, one day after taking a puck to the face on Monday in Winnipeg.
Hertl had to leave the game about two minutes into the third period after Logan Couture inadvertently fired a puck into his own team’s bench. The 21-year-old immediately left the ice while holding a towel to his face, and received 16-to-18 stitches. He will wear a full cage against the Wild.
Hertl has seven goals and eight assists for 15 points in 40 games, but just one goal in his last 13.
[RELATED: Sharks' Hertl all smiles after taking puck to face]
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Alex Stalock, a St. Paul native, will make his first career start in his home state. The 27-year-old was in the net for a 2-1 Sharks victory at SAP Center on Dec. 11 and made 19 saves. He will be starting for the first time since Dec. 30, a 3-1 loss to Vancouver.
Stalock is 4-4-1 with a 2.27 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 10 games.
[KURZ: In the Crease: Wild have home winning streak vs. Sharks]
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Hertl wasn't the only Sharks player that needed repairs after the 3-2 win over the Jets. Melker Karlsson received 17 stitches in his right earlobe after he was high-sticked in the first period by Mathieu Perreault.
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Defenseman Mirco Mueller has re-joined the Sharks after playing for Switzerland in the World Juniors. He will not play against Minnesota.