Programming note – Sharks-Wild coverage starts today at 2:30 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on CSN California
WHERE THEY STAND
Sharks: 38-18-7, 83 points, 1st Pacific Division
Wild: 41-15-6, 88 points, 2nd Central Division
PREGAME NEWS AND NOTES
***The Sharks bring a 5-0-3 mark in their last eight games into today’s clash with the Wild, having not lost in regulation since Feb. 9 in Boston. This is one of two visits to Xcel Energy Center, as they return in a little more than two weeks on March 21. San Jose has won three in a row coming out of the bye week, allowing just three goals over that span.
***Minnesota is 4-3-0 in its last seven games, coming off of a 1-0 shutout defeat in Columbus on Saturday. The Wild has lost consecutive games in regulation just once this season in early November, and is 15-3-2 following a loss of any kind, including nine straight wins.
***The Wild will have a full compliment of players available today, with Zach Parise and Jason Pominville returning from the mumps. Each has missed the last three games. Sharks Joonas Donskoi (upper body) and Dylan DeMelo (broken wrist) could play their first games since January.
***Joe Thornton enters the game with 999 career assists, just one shy of becoming the 13th player in NHL history to have 1,000 for his career.
KEEP AN EYE ON...
Sharks: Marcus Sorensen. The rookie winger made the most of his opportunity on the third line on Thursday scoring his first career NHL goal, and the game-winning one at that. After the game, coach Pete DeBoer remarked that the 24-year-old is “making a case to stick around,” despite the Sharks seemingly having plenty of healthy forwards at the moment.
Wild: Mikko Koivu. The Wild captain had a five-game point streak come to an end on Thursday, but has posted 10 points (1g, 9a) in his last eight games. He’s second on the team with 48 points (17g, 31a) and is tied for sixth in the league with a plus-29 rating.
Kevin Labanc – Joe Thornton – Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau – Logan Couture – Mikkel Boedker
Marcus Sorensen – Tomas Hertl – Joel Ward
Micheal Haley – Chris Tierney – Melker Karlsson
Paul Martin – Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic – Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon – Dylan DeMelo
Zach Parise – Eric Staal – Chris Stewart
Jason Zucker – Mikko Koivu – Mikael Granlund
Nino Niederreiter – Martin Hanzal – Charlie Coyle
Ryan White – Erik Haula – Jason Pominville
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Matt Dumba
Marco Scandella – Nate Prosser
Sharks: David Schlemko (lower body) is questionable.
Wild: Victor Bartley (torn triceps) is out.
“Just try to get into the game as quick as possible, and just keep it simple. Everybody is gearing up for the playoffs, and if I’m in, it’s my first game in seven or eight weeks. Just get used to the speed of the game as quick as possible.” – Dylan DeMelo