The San Jose Sharks’ losing streak already includes a meeting
with the Minnesota Wild.
Perhaps facing them at home will produce a different result.
The Sharks attempt to avoid matching their longest slide of the
season by continuing their home dominance of the Wild on Thursday
San Jose (19-6-6) has been outscored 16-7 while losing four
games in a row. Those struggles continued with Tuesday’s 3-2
shootout defeat to the New York Islanders, two days after losing
3-1 at Minnesota (18-10-5).
The scoring chances have been there since the Sharks have
totaled 86 shots over the last two games. However, they may be more
concerned with blowing a two-goal, third-period lead to the
Islanders, who had lost 10 games in a row overall and on the
“Third period in our building up 2-0, we’ve got to win those
games,” said center Joe Pavelski, who had a goal Tuesday to end a
The Sharks don’t tend to have many problems when hosting the
Wild, going 11-1-1 over the past 13 home meetings. They won the
most recent 6-1 on April 18, when Logan Couture had a career-high
The center had an assist on Patrick Marleau’s goal at Minnesota
on Sunday, and they both have 30 points to tie for second behind
Joe Thornton’s team-leading 32.
Marleau has two goals and two assists over the past three games
after getting one of each against the Islanders. He’s managed seven
goals and six assists over the past eight home meetings with the
Pavelski has also been effective when hosting Minnesota, scoring
seven goals while assisting on six others in 11 lifetime games.
The Wild are mired in a four-game road losing streak after
falling 2-1 at Anaheim on Wednesday, opening a stretch of seven
road games among eight overall.
Finding the net earlier could help them solve their road woes.
Minnesota has been outscored 5-1 in the opening period over the
last 10 games and failed to tally in the opening 20 minutes in five
straight on the road.
“We’ve got to find a way to create more offense, especially
early in the game,” captain Mikko Koivu said.
Jason Pominville is doing his part, leading Minnesota with 15
goals – his latest coming Tuesday. The right wing has two goals and
three assists over the past six games after managing one point in
the previous seven.
He has four goals and five assists in 10 career meetings with
the Sharks, getting an assist Sunday.
Zach Parise had two goals in that meeting, but was held off the
scoresheet Wednesday. The left wing leads the Wild with 26 points,
but he’s scored just three of his 14 goals on the road.
He has 11 points in 10 games versus the Sharks, including four
over his latest four visits to San Jose. However, Parise didn’t get
a point and was a minus-3 there on April 18.