San Jose Sharks vs Minnesota Wild


Dec 8, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; San Jose Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin (52) and Minnesota Wild forward Nino Niederreiter (22) battle for the puck behind the Sharks net in the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

A two goal lead against the worst team in the NHL was not enough to keep the struggling Sharks alive against the Islanders Tuesday night, falling 3-2 in a shoot-out. Tonight will not be any easier on Team Teal, facing a Minnesota squad they outplayed and lost to this past Sunday. The Sharks out-shot the wild 38-13 but could not solve goaltender Josh Harding. In that contest the Sharks played well, but even the smallest mistakes seemed to go against them in the worst way. The Wild are 4-5-1 in their last 10, losing to Anaheim last night 2-1. They will have to solve road game difficulties in one of the loudest buildings in the League.  They’ve dropped their last 4 road games, and the Sharks are going to do their best to make it last 5.

Game Number 33 (31 for the Sharks)

Team Record: 18-10-5 (4-5-1 in their last 10)

Offense: Finding Itself. More dangerous at home than on the road. (11 goals at home, 5 on the road)

Defense: Struggling. They’ve allowed 25 goals (and scored 17. Somehow they’ve gotten 4 wins out of it)

PP: 21.2% 8th in the League. (Sharks are 17th)

PK: 79.2% 23rd in the League. (Sharks are 16th)

Jason Pominville has 5 points in the last 6 games, and leads the Wild with 15 goals. The Sharks face not Josh Harding, but Niklas Backstrom tonight. In 21 starts against Team Teal, he is 6-12-3 with a 3.07 GAA, a .906 SV% and has blanked them twice.

Sharks hope Patrick Marleau stays hot, with his 2 goals and 2 assists in the past 3 games. He was the only Shark to solve the Harding puzzle on Sunday. With some perseverance, some luck, and good execution the Sharks can come out on top.