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Minnesota
Wild
30-29-20-3
San Jose
Sharks
43-21-12-6

24 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
MIN
SJS
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Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks

Tuesday, 03.09.2004 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks
Wild-Sharks Preview

GAME: Minnesota Wild (21-26-19-2) at San Jose Sharks (33-18-11-6).

TIME: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. EST.

The last time they met the Minnesota Wild, the San Jose Sharks had a seven-point lead in the Pacific Division.

That's not the case anymore.

San Jose looks to avoid losing three straight for the first time this season, and remain alone atop the Pacific when it hosts Minnesota.

Back on Jan. 24, the Sharks beat the Wild 4-0 to maintain their seven-point division lead over Dallas. That lead has shrunk to two points as the Sharks have tied a season high by losing two in a row, while the Stars have gone unbeaten in their last nine contests.

Dallas visits the NHL-worst Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.

The Sharks continued their struggles on the offensive end Sunday, falling 4-0 on the road to the Stars. San Jose was outscored 9-1 in its consecutive losses over the weekend.

"We've been tested a lot this season as a group," Sharks left wing Scott Thornton said. "We've passed a lot of tests this year. This weekend, we failed the test."

The victory over Minnesota 6{ weeks ago, however, was the first of eight straight at home for San Jose.

If the Sharks can extend that win streak at HP Pavilion, they will stay by themselves in first place at least through the rest of the week regardless of what Dallas does. San Jose is opening a three-game homestand, which includes games against the New York Islanders and Los Angeles Kings.

Minnesota's playoff hopes took another hit on Sunday as it skated to a 1-1 tie on the road with the Phoenix Coyotes. The Wild are winless in their last seven (0-4-3), and have just one victory in their last 10.

Minnesota, which advanced to the Western Conference finals last season, is 10 points behind both the St. Louis Blues and Los Angeles Kings for eighth place in the West.

The Wild's tie on Sunday was their 19th in 21 overtime games this season. Philadelphia holds the league record with 24 ties, set during the 76-game 1969-70 season.

"We've tied a lot of games, but haven't won very many," Minnesota goalie Dwayne Roloson said. "If we could turn some of those ties into wins, it could have been a different situation for us. We'd be in the playoffs."

San Jose has won all three meetings with Minnesota this season, and is looking to sweep the series for the first time.

STANDINGS (through March 7): Wild - 63 points, 5th place, 22 PB, Northwest Division. Sharks - 83 points, 1st place, Pacific Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Wild - Andrew Brunette, 13 goals, 27 assists and 40 points; Matt Johnson, 151 PIM. Sharks - Patrick Marleau, 27 goals and 50 points; Vincent Damphousse, 25 assists; Scott Parker, 96 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 7): Wild - Power play: 12.8 percent (35 for 273), 28th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.6 percent (203 for 240), 12th. Sharks - Power play: 15.8 percent (45 for 284), 18th. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (231 for 271), 5th.

GOALTENDERS: Wild - Roloson (15-16-10, 4 SO, 1.91 GAA); Manny Fernandez (6-12-9, 1, 2.51). Sharks - Evgeni Nabokov (23-17-7, 8, 2.12); Vesa Toskala (10-7-4, 2.14).

SEASON SERIES: Sharks, 3-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 24; Sharks, 4-0. At San Jose, Calif., Alyn McCauley scored two goals and Nabokov made 24 saves to lead the Sharks.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Wild - 8-13-12-1 on the road; Sharks - 18-5-7-2 at home.


Associated Press
2003-2004 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 09 '04MIN 4 at SJS 3A. Daigle
Jan 24 '04MIN 0 at SJS 4N. Dimitrakos
Nov 28 '03SJS 2 at MIN 1V. Damphousse
Oct 12 '03SJS 3 at MIN 2P. Marleau
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%