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GAMEDAY: Wild at San Jose

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 3:50 AM

Mike Doyle - Managing Editor

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GAMEDAY: Wild at San Jose
Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Minnesota Wild (28-20-5: 61 points, 8th in Western Conference, 4th in Central Division) vs. San Jose Sharks (33-12-6: 71 points, 4th in Western Conference, 2nd in Pacific Division)
The Minnesota Wild kicks off a four-game road trip tonight against the San Jose Sharks. After a slow start, the Wild has been strong on the road, going 3-1-0 in 2014. However, Minnesota faces a challenge of playing in the Shark Tank, a place it has not faired well recently. The Wild has a lone win against San Jose in the past nine games at in the Golden State, dating back to Oct. 10, 2009.

A key to tonight’s contest will be special teams. The Wild has failed to score on the power play in the past seven games. The club did get its leading power play scorer back from injury last game, Zach Parise. Despite missing 15 games this season, Parise still ranks eighth in the NHL with eight power play goals. It will face a Sharks team that has only allowed one power play tally in its last 11 home games, killing 25-of-26 of its opponents’ power play opportunities.

With the club on the road, the Wild will be at a disadvantage when trying to get its on-ice matchups. Minnesota’s third line of Kyle Brodziak, Matt Cooke and Justin Fontaine has been facing opponents’ top scoring line at home, but with San Jose getting the last change at home, we’ll see how Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo plays the lines on the fly, trying to get the matchups it he wants tonight.

Minnesota is expected to go with rookie goaltender Darcy Kuemper again tonight. The netminder has been outstanding since being recalled on Jan. 2. In seven starts, he’s 5-2-0 with a 1.68 goals-against average and .946 save percentage. This will be the second time he’s faced the Sharks. His first appearance came in relief last season.

On Thursday, the Wild won against Central Division rival, Chicago Blackhawks, 2-1. Minnesota got out to a two-goal first period lead on tallies from Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke. Kuemper was the game’s First Star with 33 saves.

The Sharks edged the Winnipeg Jets, 1-0, at home on Thursday. Joe Pavelski scored the team’s lone goal in the first period, while Saint Paul native Alex Stalock made 20 saves for his second-career shutout.

PROGRAMING ADVISORY: If the North Star College Cup championship game goes long, the Wild at San Jose game will start on Fox Sports North PLUS channel tonight. 

With the Wild on the road, it continues to look for fan engagement with the Red Baron Roadie. The contest is how fans can win great items like autographed merchandise, and maybe even a spot on the 2014-15 Fan Road Trip. Visit the contest rules page for more info on how to enter.
If You're Going
Yesterday, the Sharks signed both Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau to 3-year extensions. The second-overall pick in 1997, Marleau has played his entire career in San Jose, racking up 908 points (425-483=908). The Sharks acquired Thornton in 2005-06 from Boston and he leads the NHL with 47 assists this year and is seventh in the league with 53 points this season. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen, but if the Sharks score in the final two minutes of the second period, fans will have the opportunity to win two free tacos courtesy of Jack in the Box.

The Wild will wear its WHITE sweaters tonight.
Who's Hot Gameday Media
Kyle Brodziak recorded his 200th NHL career point with an assist Thursday. Brodziak has six points (2-4=6) and a plus-6 rating in the Wild’s 11 games in 2014, totaling 16 points (4-12=16) this season.

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

Wild.com
Game Notes | Transactions | Injury Report | Lighthouse | @mnwildLIVE | @mnwild
WildTV
Yeo | Haula | Brodziak | Niederreiter
PONDcast
Coming soon
Probably Wild Lineup Between The Pipes
The forwards lines will stay the same as Thursday:

Parise-Coyle-Niederreiter
Heatley-Granlund-Pominville
Cooke-Brodziak-Fontaine
Mitchell-Haula-Zucker
As will the D-pairs:

Suter-Brodin
Scandella-Prosser
Stoner-Ballard
Kuemper has made one appearance in relief in San Jose, allowing one goal on two shots (4/18/13).
View From The Press Box
He's a puck-hound. He chases and pursues, he's relentless, creates turnovers and you end up having the puck more when he's on the ice.

- Yeo on Wild forward Zach Parise
Forwards Mike Rupp and Stephane Veilleux are expected to be tonight’s healthy scratches.

Mikko Koivu and Jared Spurgeon are listed on IR with lower-body injuries. Josh Harding joins them due to illness.
Honorary State of Hockey Resident Worthless Stat
Martin Havlat compiled 116 points (40- 76=116) in 115 games with the Wild (2009-11). Brent Burns was drafted 20th overall by the Wild in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft and ranks sixth on the team’s all-time scoring list with 183 points (55-128=183) in 453 games (2003-11). 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). Todd McLellan coached the Wild’s prospects in Cleveland (2000-01) and Houston (2001-05). G Alex Stalock hails from Saint Paul and played three seasons with University of Minnesota-Duluth (2006-2009). Kuemper's five wins are second all-time amongst Wild rookie goaltenders. Josh Harding had 11 in 2007-08.

Broadcast Info In Case You Missed It
Wild at San Jose will be broadcast locally in high definition on FOX Sports North with a start time at 9:30 p.m. The game can be heard on KFAN 100.3 FM or online at Wild.com      
Wild.com
Picture Perfect Day For Hockey | Wild's Best Of The Web | Wild Prospects Report | Five Takeaways vs. CHI | Wild 5-Hole vs. CHI |
WildTV
Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 | Yeo - Jan. 25 | Kuemper - Jan. 25
PONDcast
Wild 2, CHI 1
Photo Gallery
Wild at DAL | A Season In Hugs | Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 |
2013-2014 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 25 '14MIN 2 at SJS 3 - OTJ. Thornton
Dec 12 '13MIN 1 at SJS 3T. Hertl
Dec 08 '13SJS 1 at MIN 3M. Koivu
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Pominville54201535-41255
M. Koivu4482735-41813
R. Suter5462531+62420
Z. Parise39151227+11882
N. Niederreiter5491726+103010
M. Cooke5481422+93403
M. Granlund4131922-21811
D. Heatley5491019-101631
J. Fontaine4712618+102211
C. Coyle4261218-52111
K. Brodziak5441216+52401
J. Brodin517815+41630
M. Scandella5131114+91801
J. Spurgeon4311112+61010
T. Mitchell51189-41900
K. Ballard33167-83100
N. Prosser28235+13002
J. Zucker18404+4011
C. Stoner48044-46200
E. Haula20123+3400
Z. Konopka36112-55500
M. Dumba13112-5210
S. Veilleux24101-41700
M. Rupp9011+1500
B. Bulmer5000-2200
J. Blum4000+0000
C. McMillan1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Harding2918-7-3466901.65.933
N. Backstrom205-10-2545373.02.899
D. Kuemper105-3-1212692.29.922
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Thornton5284755+161022
J. Pavelski52282553+1420103
P. Marleau52222648+111272
L. Couture43142135+131232
B. Burns39141529+221412
T. Wingels47101626+112803
T. Hertl35151025+11233
J. Demers4932124+82210
D. Boyle4581422-31661
M. Vlasic5241317+171800
T. Kennedy4741115-32801
M. Irwin3721315+11910
J. Braun5231114+201211
M. Nieto404913+2601
A. Desjardins512911-27001
B. Stuart44369+72503
S. Hannan33358+13500
M. Havlat22358+5600
J. Sheppard40156-42100
B. Kearns15314+0410
M. Brown37224-86900
M. Pelech6101+12201
J. McCarthy33011-12400
F. Hamilton11000-5200
E. Hayes10000+0200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
A. Niemi4427-10-610211772.37.913
A. Stalock127-2-0162781.62.942
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