7 P.M. VS. SAN JOSE • XCEL • NBCSN, 100.3-FM
Preview: This is the ultimate homer series with the home team winning 15 of the past 16 games. The Wild has beaten the Sharks seven in a row at home; the Sharks have beaten the Wild in seven of the past eight in San Jose. … The Wild is coming off a 7-1 loss at Dallas, while the Sharks won 3-2 at Winnipeg on Monday in the only NHL game of the night. The Sharks are 2-3-1 in their past six games. The Wild is 3-3-4 in its past 10 at home, beating Toronto on Friday for its first home win since Dec. 9.
Players to watch: Wild LW Zach Parise has seven points in the past seven games. RW Thomas Vanek has three goals and three assists in the past seven games. RW Jason Pominville has 15 points in the past 16 games. LW Nino Niederreiter, tied with Parise for the team lead with 14 goals, has none in the past eight. Sharks LW Patrick Marleau has 18 goals and 35 points in 52 games against the Wild. C Joe Pavelski has 23 points in 28 games against the Wild and ranked fifth in the NHL before Monday with 20 goals. Prior to Monday, former Wild D Brent Burns was tied for the league lead among blue-liners with 10 goals and ranked third with 29 points.
Numbers: The Wild has 13 power-play goals in the past 15 games. Since Dec. 5, the Wild's tied for third in the NHL in power-play goals and fifth in power-play percentage (25 percent).
Injuries: Wild C Mikael Granlund (wrist surgery) and D Keith Ballard (facial fractures, concussion) are out. Sharks C Joe Thornton (upper body), LW Raffi Torres (knee), RW Mike Brown (lower body) and LW Tyler Kennedy (upper body) are out.