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  • 12/10 PREGAME: Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks

    Heather Rule

    The Wild will try to make it two of three wins on this California road trip, which wraps with a game against Pacific Division foe San Jose.


    The Wild (14-11-3) come off their second overtime win in less than a week thanks to defenseman Matt Dumba. He had quite the game with a career-high 30:04 of ice time, registering six shots on goal (tied for second-most in his career), tied a career-high with five blocked shots and had four hits (tied for second-most in his career). Overall, he has two goals and two assists in the past four games and 14 points for the season.


    Last season, the Wild won all three games against the Sharks, including two in St. Paul. However, the Wild are just 10-17-3 overall and 3-10-1 in their last 14 games when playing in San Jose.


    The Sharks (16-10-2) finish their three-game homestand looking for their third-straight victory. It’s the second night of a back-to-back for them after shutting out the Ottawa Senators 5-0 and outshooting them 50-25. They also beat Carolina 5-4 in overtime on Thursday. In each game, the Sharks used five different goal scorers to get the victories.


    Alex Stalock (2-3-1) will make the start in goal for the Wild against his former team, whom he’s never faced. He played in 62 games with 46 starts for the Sharks from 2010-16 after they drafted him in the fourth round in 2005. He went 24-19-7 with a 2.37 GAA and .911 save percentage.


    With Zucker’s two-point game in Anaheim, he leads the team in points with 24 and goals with 14. Here’s the obligatory pregame reminder that Mikko Koivu still has just four goals and 11 assists this season and holds a 19-game goal-less streak. Koivu has 10 goals and 10 assists in 38 career games against the Sharks.


    Charlie Coyle assisted on the game-winner and is riding a career-long six-game point streak. He has seven points in nine games since coming back from a broken leg. He was a first-round draft pick of the Sharks in 2010.


    Mikael Granlund has 12 points in the past 12 games. Daniel Winnik has helpers in the past two games.


    Wild fans will, of course, remember Sharks defenseman Brent Burns, even though his lengthy beard came after his time in Minnesota. He leads the Sharks defensive corps with 16 points (2-14—16). Burns scored the overtime winner against Carolina.


    Justin Braun, of Mpls. and Vadnais Heights, is one of only 14 NHL skaters this season with at least 50 hits and 50 blocked shots. Former Wild player Joel Ward is one point away from reaching 300 in his NHL career.


    Logan Couture, Joe Thornton and Joe Pavelski all have good career numbers against the Wild, and they’re the top points leaders for the Sharks this season. Couture has 15 goals and 10 assists, Thornton has five goals and 20 points, and Pavelski has 10 assists and 20 points.


    Injury list:

    Jared Spurgeon (groin strain), 5 games

    Zach Parise (microdiscectomy surgery), 28 games

    Total man games lost: 68



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