The Wild ensured it didn’t return home emptyhanded after securing an overtime win over the Ducks Friday, but whether or not this three-game road swing through California is considered a success likely depends on the result of Sunday’s finale against the Sharks in San Jose.
“We talk about winning the week, and this is our chance tonight,” goalie Alex Stalock said. “Obviously, 1-1 out in California so far. Big test tonight with this group, and obviously they played last night. So it’s a chance for us to jump on them early.”
Stalock will be between the pipes for the Wild, his first start against his former team. The 30-year-old was drafted by San Jose in the fourth round (112th overall) in 2005 and played parts of five seasons with the team.
This also will be Stalock’s first appearance since he was in net for the 7-2 shellacking by the Jets Nov.27.
“He deserves a quality effort put in front of him,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “We haven’t played very good in front of him. Even though they want to, we haven’t done that. So tonight would be a great opportunity for them to do that.”
Jason Zucker-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle
Nino Niederreiter-Eric Staal-Mikael Granlund
Tyler Ennis-Matt Cullen-Joel Eriksson Ek
Marcus Foligno-Daniel Winnik-Zack Mitchell
Ryan Suter- Matt Dumba
Jonas Brodin-Ryan Murphy
Gustav Olofsson-Nate Prosser
9-6-2: The Wild’s record in its last 17 games against the Sharks.
17: Points for winger Jason Zucker in his past 16 games.
2: Points for winger Zack Mitchell in his last two games.
5: Different goal scorers for the Sharks in their 5-0 win over the Senators Saturday.
25:08: Sharks defenseman Brent Burns’ average time on ice.
About the Sharks:
The Sharks have found a groove lately, dropping only three games in their last nine. They’ve won two straight, including a 5-0 rout of the Senators Saturday. Center Logan Couture leads San Jose in goals (15) and points (25). Forwards Joe Pavelski (16 points) and Joe Thornton (20) have also been productive amid the absence of Patrick Marleau, who signed with the Maple Leafs in the offseason. The team has been particularly effective against the Western Conference this season, going 6-1-2.