SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) -Dimitri Patzold won the San Jose Sharks' backup goalie job Sunday when the club sent Thomas Greiss to the minors.
Greiss had better statistics than Patzold during the exhibition season, which the Sharks finished 5-0-2 with a 2-1 win over Calgary on Saturday night. The 21-year-old Greiss went 2-0 with a 1.45 goals-against average, while the 24-year-old Patzold had a 2.88 GAA and a meager .813 save percentage.
But the Sharks want their younger goalie to play regularly, so Greiss will start for the club's AHL affiliate in Worcester, while Patzold sits behind Evgeni Nabokov, who allowed just four goals in his three preseason games.
The Sharks had a vacancy behind Nabokov, their starter since 2000, after trading Vesa Toskala to Toronto during the summer.
San Jose also assigned right wing Graham Mink and left wing Lukas Kaspar to Worcester, trimming their roster to 26 players. The Sharks plan to cut down to 23 before Thursday's season opener at Edmonton.
Young forwards Devin Setoguchi and Torrey Mitchell are in the running for their first NHL roster spots after strong training camp efforts, but coach Ron Wilson wouldn't say Saturday night when the club will make its final cuts.
Setoguchi, a former first-round pick who stayed in juniors last season, led the Sharks with five preseason goals. Mitchell, who had two preseason goals but was injured Tuesday night in Calgary, spent last season in college with Vermont before joining Worcester late in the spring.