The Wild started this four-game homestand without everyone available, and that’s how the team will finish it.
Although it’ll welcome back captain Mikko Koivu, who sat out the previous four games with a lower-body injury, the Wild will be without defenseman Matt Dumba when it hosts the Sharks Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.
Dumba is out at least this week with an upper-body injury.
“We’ll make up for it,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Somebody goes out, somebody goes in. I was looking at the injury report today, and there’s some teams that have eight guys out and nine guys out. We’ve got one. He’s a good player, but let’s move forward and not worry about injuries at this stage.”
At 2-1 so far during this home stint, the Wild will have plenty to keep it busy if it wants to bank a third win.
San Jose in on a roll of late and won the previous meeting between these two teams 4-3 Nov.6 in California.
“They sure have balance,” Boudreau said. “When you have Joe Thornton on your third line, one of the greats players of all time, you know your work is cut out for you, and they’re fairly healthy – let alone the back end that they have. They were, at the beginning of the year, thought to be one of the best teams in the league and to vie for the Stanley Cup, and now they’re starting to play like it.
“It’s a great test. But, hey listen, when you succeed in a test, you usually feel pretty good.”
Jordan Greenway-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise-Charlie Coyle-Nino Niederreiter
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Luke Kunin
Marcus Foligno-Joel Eriksson Ek-Eric Fehr
Ryan Suter-Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin-Greg Pateryn
Nick Seeler-Nate Prosser
9-1-1: The Wild’s record in its last 11 games vs. the Sharks at Xcel Energy Center.
10: Goals for center Eric Staal on home ice.
12: Penalty kills in 12 tries for the Wild over the past six games.
5: Assists for winger Mikael Granlund in his last three games.
8: Points for winger Nino Niederreiter over his past 10 games.
About the Sharks:
The Sharks cruise into St. Paul having won four straight and six of their last seven games. With 41 points, they sit third in the Pacific Division – just two points shy of the second-place Ducks. On Sunday, San Jose overwhelmed the Blackhawks 7-3 in Chicago. Thirteen different players registered at least a point in the game, including defenseman Brent Burns. His 34 points are tied for the team lead with center Logan Couture.