Programming note: Sharks-Wild coverage starts today at 4:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet California
Where they stand
Sharks: 6-4-1, 13 points, 3rd Pacific Division
Wild: 5-3-0, 10 points, 4th Central Division
Sharks: The Sharks poured 51 shots on goal, but still needed a shootout to beat Colorado on Tuesday at Pepsi Center, 3-2. Brent Burns and Logan Couture scored San Jose’s goals, and Antti Niemi made 31 saves for the win. The Sharks are trying to wrap up a perfect three-game road trip tonight, that started with a 4-1 victory in Anaheim on Sunday. They return home for a brief two-game homestand on Saturday vs. the Islanders and next Thursday against Vancouver.
Wild: Minnesota scored three third period goals in coming from behind to win in Boston on Tuesday, 4-3. Nino Niederreiter, Zach Parise, Justin Fontaine and Marco Scandella each netted a goal for the Wild. In his second start of the season, Niklas Backstrom made 25 saves to earn his first win. Minnesota is playing just its fourth home game, and is outscoring the opposition 14-2 in winning the first three.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: James Sheppard. The former first round pick of the Wild is currently playing wing on the Sharks’ third line, but Sheppard is still looking for his first point in five games this season. He could be a candidate to get bumped down to the fourth line – or out of the lineup altogether – when Barclay Goodrow finally gets in, so Sheppard could use a strong game against his former team.
[RELATED: Sharks rookie Goodrow could debut shortly]
Wild: Jared Spurgeon. The defenseman has tallied at least one point in five of eight games this season, including four points (1g, 3a) in his last four games. He is second on the team with six points (2g, 4a) in eight games, and leads the team with 25 blocked shots, including a franchise-record nine blocked shots on Oct. 11.
Goals per game: 3.00 (9th)
Goals-against per game: 2.64 (15th)
Power play: 22.5 percent (11th)
Penalty kill: 81.6 percent (14th)
Goals per game: 3.38 (5th)
Goals-against per game: 1.75 (3rd)
Power play: 0.0 percent (T – 29th)
Penalty kill: 90.9.percent (3rd)
Tomas Hertl – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Tommy Wingels
Matt Nieto – Chris Tierney – James Sheppard
Tye McGinn – Adam Burish – Andrew Desjardins
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Brent Burns
Scott Hannan – Jason Demers
Antti Niemi (confirmed starter)
Zach Parise – Mikael Granlund – Jason Pominville
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Charlie Coyle
Thomas Vanek – Kyle Brodziak – Nino Niederreiter
Stephane Veilleaux – Ryan Carter – Justin Fontaine
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella – Nate Prosser
Matthew Dumba – Justin Falk
Darcy Kuemper (confirmed starter)
Sharks: Barclay Goodrow (left hand) is questionable. Raffi Torres (right knee) and Mike Brown (left hand) are out. John Scott is serving the second of a two-game suspension. Tyler Kennedy is in Worcester (AHL) on a conditioning assignment.
Wild: Matt Cooke (lower body) is out. Keith Ballard (flu) and Christian Folin (flu) are on injured reserve. Eric Haula (upper body injury) and Jonas Brodin (undisclosed) are day-to-day.
Minnesota is 6-0-0 in its last six games against the Sharks at Xcel Energy Center, but just 1-8-1 in its last 10 games in San Jose.
The Sharks are 28-15-7 all-time against Minnesota. They return to St. Paul on Jan. 6, while the Wild play at SAP Center on Dec. 11.
“It’s amazing when you win a game or two and play the right way, and play hard, and everyone is contributing, how much better you feel about yourselves.” – Joe Pavelski