Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk will start the team’s regular-season finale Saturday against the Sharks in San Jose, but how much of the game he’ll actually end up playing is up in the air.
“I don’t know if he’s going to play one [period], two [periods] or the whole game,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “A lot of it will be depending on him.”
With the Wild locking up the third seed in the Central Division earlier this week, solidifying a first-round matchup against the Jets in the playoffs, this game can’t affect the Wild’s spot in the standings. But the Sharks’ position could still change since they’re only one point ahead of the Ducks for the second seed in the Pacific Division and two up on the Kings.
“This will be a fun game because they got a lot to play for still,” Dubnyk said. “They’re going to be playing hard, and it’ll be good prep for us. … I’ll plan on playing the whole game and if I come out early, I come out early.”
Defenseman Louie Belpedio will make his NHL debut, the sixth Wild player to do so this season, and winger Zach Parise will rest up as the extra forward. Defenseman Gustav Olofsson won’t be in the lineup after joining the team in San Jose. Olofsson has missed the past four games with a concussion.
“He’s fine,” Boudreau said. “He’s healthy. He could play if we chose.”
Nino Niederreiter-Mikko Koivu-Mikael Granlund
Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Tyler Ennis
Jordan Greenway-Matt Cullen-Charlie Coyle
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Daniel Winnik
Jonas Brodin-Matt Dumba
Nick Seeler-Ryan Murphy
Louie Belpedio-Nate Prosser
3-2-1: The Wild’s record in its last six visits to San Jose.
41: Goals for center Eric Staal, which is one shy of Marian Gaborik’s franchise record for most in a season.
46: Assists for winger Mikael Granlund.
196: Points for San Jose’s blue line.
39: Penalty kill for the Sharks in their last 44 shorthanded situations.
About the Sharks:
The Sharks are playoff-bound, but their first-round opponent has yet to be finalized. They’ve won 45 games and sit at 100 points. San Jose has won just once in its last five games and is still without center Joe Thornton, who’s been out with a knee injury. Captain Joe Pavelski and defenseman Brent Burns lead the team in points with 65. Fifty-four of Burns’ points are assists.