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Preview: Wild at Sharks

San Jose rookie Timo Meier will play on top line with Joe Thornton, Joe Pavelski

by Eric Gilmore / NHL.com Correspondent

WILD (23-9-4) at SHARKS (23-13-2)

10:30 p.m. ET; FS-N, FS-WI, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

 

Wild team scope

The Minnesota Wild will play for the first time since their franchise record 12-game winning streak ended Dec. 31 with a 4-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Wild gave up four goals in three of their past four games after allowing two or fewer in nine straight. "It gave us a chance to reset and get three practices in," coach Bruce Boudreau said of their four-day break. "We were starting to get into some bad habits before the Columbus game. ... We were starting to cheat and lean toward the offense. When your success comes from playing very good defensive hockey, and then all of a sudden you got three guys leaving the zone before the puck's leaving the zone and staying out a little longer, thinking you can get the goal." Forward Mikko Koivu will play his 800th NHL game, and defenseman Jonas Brodin will play his 300th. "It just seems it goes [by] faster and faster every year," Koivu said.

 

Sharks team scope

Rookie left wing Timo Meier will be on the San Jose Sharks' top line with center Joe Thornton and right wing Joe Pavelski. Meier was promoted from the third line at the start of the third period of a 2-1 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday, trading spots with Patrick Marleau. "I think it's a great chance for me to show what I'm capable of," said Meier, the ninth pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. "I want to go out there and play a hard game, play my way. I want to help the team win that game tonight. I think we had two tough losses. I think it's going to be a huge game tonight to bounce back. Getting the chance to play with two guys like that, it's pretty amazing." Forward Mikkel Boedker played sparingly after the second period Tuesday and will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Tommy Wingels will return to the lineup at center on the fourth line after being a healthy scratch five straight games. "He knows our systems," coach Peter DeBoer said of Boedker, who has two goals and six assists. "He knows how we want him to play. He's been able to play that way and been effective for more than a game or two. Now it's just consistently bringing that. ... I'm sure we'll get a good response when he's back in."

 

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Jordan Schroeder

Jason Zucker -- Mikko Koivu -- Mikael Granlund

Nino Niederreiter -- Erik Haula -- Charlie Coyle

Chris Stewart -- Tyler Graovac -- Jason Pominville

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Jonas Brodin -- Matt Dumba

Marco Scandella -- Nate Prosser

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Christian Folin, Kurtis Gabriel

Injured: Victor Bartley (torn triceps)

 

Sharks projected lineup

Timo Meier -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski

Joonas Donskoi -- Logan Couture -- Kevin Labanc

Patrick Marleau -- Chris Tierney -- Joel Ward

Melker Karlsson --Tommy Wingels -- Micheal Haley

Paul Martin -- Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon -- Justin Braun

Mirco Mueller -- Dylan DeMelo

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Mikkel Boedker, Tim Heed

Injured: Tomas Hertl (knee); Marc-Edouard Vlasic (face), David Schlemko (upper body)

 

Status update

The Sharks recalled Heed from the San Jose Barracuda of the American Hockey League, but he'll be a healthy scratch. Heed, who played last season in the Swedish Hockey League, has 30 points (9-21-30), tied for first among defensemen in the AHL. ... Forward Matt Nieto, who was waived by the Sharks on Wednesday, was claimed by the Colorado Avalanche. ... Schroeder will move from the fourth line to the top line and skate with Parise and Staal. Pominville will drop to the fourth line. ... Prosser will return to the lineup, replacing Folin. ... Vlasic will miss his third straight game and Schlemko his second straight. ... Dubnyk (19-7-3) will make his 30th start and face Jones (19-12-2), who will start for the 34th time.

 

Who's hot

Spurgeon has a three-game point streak (two goals, two assists). ... Granlund has two goals and two assists in his past two games, and has four multipoint games in his past five. ... Labanc has a three-game point streak (one goal, two assists) and five points in his past five games (three goals, two assists).

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