San Jose at Minnesota
When: 6:00 PM ET, Sunday, December 8, 2013
Where: Xcel Energy Center, Saint Paul, Minnesota
The San Jose Sharks look to snap their first point drought of the season when they conclude their four-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday. San Jose has suffered back-to-back regulation losses for the first time this season, dropping a 5-1 decision at Pittsburgh on Thursday before suffering a 5-3 defeat at Carolina the following night. The Sharks endured a five-game winless streak from Oct. 30-Nov. 10 but earned a point in four of those contests.
Minnesota hopes to find its offensive touch as it attempts to post its third straight home victory. After registering 2-0 and 4-3 wins over Philadelphia and Chicago, respectively, the Wild came up empty on the road against Columbus on Friday as they were shut out for the second time this season. Minnesota is tied for the league lead with 12 home victories.
TV: 6 p.m. ET, CSN California (San Jose), FSN North (Minnesota)
ABOUT THE SHARKS (19-5-5): After beginning its road trip at Toronto with its sixth consecutive overall win, San Jose has coach Todd McLellan a bit worried. "(There are) some concerns about the group right now," he said. "I don't know if we're playing with the energy we played with earlier in the year, and I don't know why that is." Captain Joe Thornton is riding an eight-game point streak during which he has collected three goals and seven assists.
ABOUT THE WILD (17-9-5): Josh Harding is expected to be back in net after Niklas Backstrom made his first start in more than a week on Friday. Harding leads the NHL with a 1.52 goals-against average and is tied for the top spot with three shutouts. Jason Pominville leads the team with 14 goals but has scored just once in his last eight contests.
1. San Jose has lost its last five visits to Minnesota, last winning at Xcel Energy Center on April 2, 2010.
2. Thornton's next assist will give him sole possession of 26th place on the all-time list. He currently is tied with Gilbert Perreault with 814.
3. The teams meet again on Thursday in San Jose.
PREDICTION: Wild 3, Sharks 1
Stats and Records