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Gameday preview: Wild at San Jose

  • December 12, 2013 - 12:24 AM

wild gameday

9:30 P.M. at san jose • sap center • FSN, 100.3-FM, 1130-AM

Preview: The Sharks, the NHL’s third-best offensive team at 3.23 goals per game, are 0-3-1 in their past four games, including a 3-1 loss Sunday in Minnesota despite outshooting the Wild 38-13. The Wild, 1-2-1 in the second of back-to-backs this year, is 1-7 in its past eight in San Jose (outscored 30-15, outshot 297-238) and 2-10-1 in its past 13 there.

Players to watch: Wild G Niklas Backstrom is 1-8-1 all-time in San Jose with a 3.68 goals-against average, his second-worst GAA in any arena (behind American Airlines Center in Dallas). Backstrom is 6-12-3 all-time vs. the Sharks with a 3.07 GAA and .906 save percentage. C Mikko Koivu has 16 points in 28 games against San Jose. Sharks LW Patrick Marleau has 17 goals and 34 points in 48 games against the Wild. C Joe Thornton has 29 points in 34 games against the Wild. He is tied for second in the NHL with 27 assists and tied for ninth with 32 points. Marleau and C Logan Couture have combined for 60 points. Former Wild Martin Havlat has 16 points in 19 games vs. Minnesota.

Numbers: San Jose averages 36.4 shots per game, first in the NHL; the Wild entered Wednesday allowing 25.6 shots per game, third-fewest in the NHL. The Wild entered Wednesday’s action allowing the fourth-fewest goals per game (2.22).

Injuries: Wild C Mikael Granlund (concussion) is out. Sharks F Raffi Torres (knee) and F Adam Burish (lower body) are out.

MICHAEL RUSSO

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