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GAMEDAY: Wild at Sharks

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at Sharks
Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Minnesota Wild (24-16-3: 51 points, 6th in Western Conference, 2nd in Northwest Division) vs. San Jose Sharks (23-13-7 53 points, 5th in Western Conference, 3rd in Pacific Division)
While the State of Hockey is buried by more snow, the Minnesota Wild is in the Sunshine State entrenched in a battle for the final regular season push.

The Wild meets the San Jose Sharks for the last time this season, trailing the Sharks by two points in the Western Conference standings. However, Minnesota owns the tiebreaker between the two teams, having more non-shootout wins. Tonight’s contest is the rubber match between these two teams, as each have won on home ice. Minnesota took the first game, 2-0, at Xcel Energy Center on March 23 and San Jose won the second, 4-2, at HP Pavilion on April 3.

Minnesota has found its grove on the road, winning on back-to-back nights against Calgary and Edmonton earlier in the week and are winners of its last three-straight road contests.

The Wild has had a big boost from the line of Kyle Brodziak, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Jason Pominville during its current road trip. In the last two games, the trio has accounted for five goals and three assists.  

On Tuesday, the Wild took down the Edmonton Oilers, 5-3. Minnesota built a 5-1 lead before the Oilers scored two late goals to bring the scoreboard closer than the actual game. Brodziak led the way with a pair of goals. Rookies Mikael Granlund and Charlie Coyle added second period goals, while Zach Parise scored his team-leading 16th goal on a third period power play.

The Sharks outlasted the Los Angeles Kings, 3-2, in a shootout on Tuesday. Brent Burns and TJ Galiardi scored in regulation for San Jose, while Raffi Torres, yes you read that correctly, netted the lone goal in the shootout. Antti Niemi made 41 saves in regulation and overtime for the win.
Meet The Blues If You're Going
One reason San Jose can be confident down the stretch is goalie Antti Niemi, who has been in nets for all but two of the Sharks' home games this season and has a 1.76 goals-against average in the Shark Tank. He's tied for the NHL lead in wins (22) with Niklas Backstrom and has had his name put out there as a Vezina Trophy candidate. Save some money on cab fair and ride the rail, the VTA Light Rail. Stations bring you anywhere from a block to half mile to the HP Pavilion.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Ryan Suter has a three-game assist streak (0-3=3), including his 28th helper of the season Tuesday which moved him into a tie with Brent Burns for fourth place in the Wild record book for most assists by a defenseman in a single season. He leads all NHL defensemen in assists and ranks second with 32 points (4-28=32) in 43 games.

Fans can guess who's going to be hot with the Wild's HotBox Fantasy Challenge presented by the Pioneer Press for a chance to win great prizes.

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo Pregame | Wild vs. Sharks Preview | Melrose Matchup | Setoguchi Pregame | Koivu Pregame |
PONDcast
Wild at SJS |
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
If the lineup stays consistent from Tuesday:

Coyle – Koivu – Parise
Pominville – Brodziak – Bouchard
Zucker – Cullen – Setoguchi
Clutterbuck – Mitchell –  Granlund

D-pairs are likely to remain the same as well:

Brodin – Suter
Clark – Spurgeon
Gilbert – Stoner

Backstrom is tied for the NHL lead with 22 wins this season and sports a 1.82 GAA and a .921 SV% over his last six games, since allowing two goals on two shots in Los Angeles April 4.
View From The Press Box
It's nice to score goals, that's for sure, isn't it? When you do score goals like that, a lot of what was overlooked is the way we played without the puck and the way we defended to get those opportunities.

- After Tuesday’s win in Edmonton
Defensemen Justin Falk and Nate Prosser are tonight's likely healthy scratches.

Mike Rupp is considered day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Zenon Konopka didn’t make the trip with a lower-body injury. Dany Heatley is out for the rest of the season following arthroscopic shoulder surgery on Tuesday. Josh Harding is on Injured Reserve and was assigned to Houston for conditioning.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
RW Martin Havlat compiled 116 points (40-76=116) in 115 games with the Wild from 2009-11. D Brent Burns was drafted 20th overall by the Wild in 2003 and is the team’s all-time leader in defenseman points (183) in seven seasons. D Justin Braun (Minneapolis) is a Minnesota native. C James Sheppard was selected ninth overall by Minnesota in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft and skated in 224 games with the Wild (2007-10). Minnesota has 20 regulation wins this season – only Chicago, Los Angeles and Anaheim have more in the Western Conference.
Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at Sharks will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time of 9:30 p.m. The game will air nationally on the NHL Network. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com.

Click here to receive Minnesota Wild broadcast alerts/game day previews each Wild Game day.
 
Wild.com
Every Scar Has A Story | Harding Reassigned to Houston Five Takeaways at EDM | Prospect Report - April 17 |
WildTV
Yeo - April 16 | Brodziak - April 16 | Stoner - April 16 | Backstrom - April 16 |
PONDcast
PONDcast - April 16 | Mat Dumba Interview |
Photo Gallery
Wild at EDM - April 16 |

2012-2013 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 18 '13 MIN 1 at SJS 6 L. Couture
Apr 03 '13 MIN 2 at SJS 4 J. Thornton
Mar 23 '13 SJS 0 at MIN 2 Z. Parise
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
Z. Parise44161935+31674
J. Pominville45142034+1822
M. Koivu44102434+22203
R. Suter4442832-12431
M. Cullen3871926+71000
D. Setoguchi44121325+52042
D. Heatley36111021-12831
P. Bouchard3971219+6802
J. Spurgeon355914+0442
K. Brodziak448412-142011
T. Gilbert393811-81610
C. Coyle337310+42612
J. Brodin412810+41010
C. Stoner4401010+43700
T. Mitchell41448-52101
C. Clutterbuck38358-72700
M. Granlund26268-4400
J. Zucker18415+4800
M. Rupp38134-26700
J. Falk33033-84000
M. Scandella6101-1400
B. Clark7011-8000
Z. Konopka34000-310000
N. Prosser17000+4400
D. Powe8000+1900
J. Larsson1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
N. Backstrom3822-13-3909912.49.909
D. Kuemper61-2-0101192.08.916
J. Harding41-1-07612.92.885
M. Hackett10-1-05335.08.848
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Thornton4473239+52421
L. Couture44191534+5474
P. Marleau44171330-32463
J. Pavelski44141428+31045
D. Boyle4271320+32750
B. Burns268917-21820
R. Torres3561117+21700
M. Havlat377916+63011
T. Wingels385813-62600
S. Gomez3721113-92200
T. Galiardi324812+11410
R. Clowe2801111-47900
M. Irwin346410-1640
M. Vlasic44347+22700
B. Stuart44055+62300
J. Braun37055-5600
J. Sheppard30134-81201
A. Burish42123-62300
J. Demers22123-41000
D. Murray29033-82600
T. Kennedy12202-3201
A. Desjardins38112-55900
M. Handzus28112-91200
M. Tennyson3022+1000
S. Hannan30011-102000
M. Pelech2000+0700
B. Kearns1000+0000
F. McLaren1000+0000
N. Petrecki1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niemi4023-10-68411452.10.927
T. Greiss51-3-0111212.64.909
A. Stalock20-0-12132.86.846
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