Preview: Wild at San Jose
- April 18, 2013 - 12:04 AM
9:30 p.m. at SAN JOSE • FSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: The Wild, 8-3 in its past 11 road games, has won the first two games on the three-game road trip (nine goals) and a regulation win would jump Minnesota over San Jose into fifth place in the Western Conference. The Wild hasn’t beaten a team in the current top eight in the West since March 30 against Los Angeles. The Sharks are 10-0-4 in their past 14 home games, not losing in regulation at the Shark Tank since Feb. 5 against Chicago. This is the first meeting since LW Dany Heatley sustained a season-ending shoulder injury April 3 during an altercation with D Marc-Edouard Vlasic.
Players to watch: Wild RW Jason Pominville, LW Pierre-Marc Bouchard, LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter are all riding three-game point streaks. Pominville has three two-point games in a row and four in seven games with the Wild. C Mikko Koivu has won 33 of 45 faceoffs (73.3 percent) the past two games. F Logan Couture ranks 14th in Sharks history with 159 points, tied with Wild RW Devin Setoguchi. C Joe Thornton is tied for 24th in the NHL with 38 points.
Numbers: The Sharks have played in a league-high 12 shootouts. Eight of their 23 wins have come via shootout. … The Wild boasts the NHL’s fourth-best road power play (23.1 percent); the Sharks have the NHL’s third-best penalty kill, having only given up six power-play goals at home.
Injuries: Wild LW Mike Rupp (lower body) is questionable. Heatley (shoulder surgery) and C Zenon Konopka (broken foot) are out. The Sharks have no injuries.
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