Programming note – Sharks-Wild coverage starts today at 7:00 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 23-13-2, 48 points, 1st Pacific Division
Wild: 23-9-4, 50 points, 2nd Central Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks will feature three altered scoring lines from the way they started Tuesday’s 2-1 overtime loss to the Kings, including Timo Meier on the top line and Patrick Marleau on the third. Mikkel Boedker will be a healthy scratch, while Tommy Wingels returns as the fourth line center.
San Jose is 21st in the NHL with 2.45 goals-per game, scoring two or fewer in regulation in their last five straight.
The Sharks have lost two in a row (0-1-1), both to Los Angeles, but are 4-0-1 in their last five home games.
***No changes on the blue line for the Sharks, as Mirco Mueller remains in paired with Dylan DeMelo. Tim Heed was recalled from the Barracuda, but is not expected to play. David Schlemko remains out with an upper body injury.
***The Wild come to San Jose well-rested, having not played since New Year’s Eve when their 12-game winning streak was snapped by Columbus. Tonight is the start of a three-game swing through California, as they’ll visit the Kings on Saturday and Ducks on Sunday.
Minnesota, 14-2-3 in its last 19, leads the Western Conference with a plus-37 goal differential. Expected starter Devan Dubnyk leads the NHL in save percentage (.941) and goals-against average (1.75). He will face Martin Jones.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Timo Meier. The rookie will get his first chance to start a game on the left wing of the Joe Thornton-Patrick Marleau line, which is where some had him penciled in to start the year before he came down with mononucleosis in training camp. Meier hasn’t found the scoresheet in his last seven games after scoring in his NHL debut on Dec. 16, but has 25 shots since his recall.
Wild: Charlie Coyle. A former first round pick of the Sharks, Coyle is tied with Eric Staal for the Wild team lead in scoring with 30 points (12g, 18a). He has seven points (1g, 6a) in his last four games, and at least one point in seven of his last nine. The 24-year-old was traded to the Wild as part of the deal for Brent Burns in the 2011 offseason.
Timo Meier – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Kevin Labanc – Logan Couture – Joonas Donskoi
Patrick Marleau – Chris Tierney – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Tommy Wingels – Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Brenden Dillon – Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller – Dylan DeMelo
Martin Jones (starter)
Zach Parise – Eric Staal – Joedan Schroeder
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Mikael Granlund
Nino Niederreiter – Erik Haula – Charlie Coyle
Chris Stewart – Tyler Graovac – Jason Pominville
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Matt Dumba
Marco Scandella – Christian Folin
Sharks: David Schlemko (upper body), Marc-Edouard Vlasic (face) and Tomas Hertl (right knee sprain) are out.
“It shows me that I think I did the right things. We have a couple injuries, too, but I’ll be ready tonight. I want to be using my chance.” – Mirco Mueller, who made his season debut on Tuesday, and will remain in against Minnesota