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Wild Warmup: Minnesota at San Jose

West Coast swing continues Thursday night when Minnesota invades the Shark Tank

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe / Wild.com
The essentials

Who: Minnesota Wild (5-9-1) at San Jose Sharks (5-10-1)

Puck drop: 9:38 p.m. CT

Watch: FOX Sports North, FOX Sports App

Listen: KFAN FM 100.3, Wild Radio NetworkWild NHL App

Follow: @mnwild; @mnwildscribe; GameCenter


The Wild Warmup is presented by Bryant Heating and Cooling


SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Wild will play game two of its four-game, 10-day road trip to the West Coast on Thursday when it heads north to play the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center.

Minnesota enters on the heels of a 4-2 victory Tuesday night in Anaheim, coming from behind to win in a game it trailed 2-0 early in the second period.

It was the first time this season the Wild trailed by two yet still earned a victory.

Save for the 25-second span between Ducks' goals in the first two minutes of the second period, the Wild once again put forth a strong effort overall, keeping Anaheim under 30 shots on goal and doing a solid job of limiting grade-A scoring chances.

That has been a consistent theme for the Wild for the past couple weeks, but until Tuesday, Minnesota hadn't been rewarded in the standings. 

"I think it was really important. Just to have a comeback win, which usually elevates your team's game in the future, and to persevere and not think, 'OK, we allowed a couple goals and we got close,' and then you start making excuses that you're close," said Wild coach Bruce Boudreau. "To be able to bust down the door and get the lead in the third period I think is very important for this group. 

"But again, it was one game. If we don't do it [Thursday], then we'll be saying the same negative things. You gotta put some wins together and string them together for it to be successful."

The Wild has posted at least a point in each of its past two games and will be looking to reach three for the first time this season. A victory would also match Minnesota's longest winning spell of the year. 

Video: Bruce Boudreau practice update

Following a road-heavy schedule in the month of October, where like the Wild, the Sharks played just four games on home ice, San Jose is in the midst of a six-game homestand and a stretch of games where it will play eight of nine at SAP Center.

The Sharks began the homestand with back-to-back losses to Winnipeg and Vancouver before winning 4-2 over Chicago on Tuesday night, a win that snapped an overall five-game losing streak dating back to Oct. 25.

San Jose was unable to snag even a single point during that stretch, and will begin the day Thursday tied with Minnesota and Chicago with 11 points through the first month and change of the season. All three teams currently sit nine points out of a playoff spot.

The Sharks have struggled across the board so far this season, beginning the day Wednesday 26th in the NHL in scoring (2.50 goals per game), one spot ahead of the Wild.

But where San Jose has really had its troubles is stopping its opponents. Its 3.63 total goals against ranks fourth from the bottom, ahead of just Los Angeles, Detroit and New Jersey. 

Forward Tomas Hertl and defenseman Brent Burns lead the offensive charge for the Sharks with 14 points apiece. Hertl and Kevin Labanc each have a team-leading five goals while 11 of Burns' 14 points have been assists.

Both goaltenders have struggled, with Martin Jones earning the start in 11 games so far, posting a 3-7-1 record to go with a 3.38 goals-against average and an .889 save percentage. 

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