San Jose Sharks vs. Minnesota Wild - 1/25/14
Minnesota Wild (28-20-5) at San Jose Sharks (33-12-6)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 25, 2014 at 10:30 pm (SAP Center)
The Line: San Jose Sharks -205 / Minnesota Wild +186 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
TV: FS-N, CSN-CA
While visiting one of the toughest places to escape with a win, the Minnesota Wild will look to build on an impressive 2014 resume. The Wild will battle the San Jose Sharks at the SAP Center on Saturday night.
After being shellacked 4-0 by the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild regrouped and defeated the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday. Midway through the first Jason Pominville went five hole to put the Wild up 1-0, and then the Wild would take a two goal lead on a late first period goal by Matt Cooke. Despite allowing the Hawks outshooting them, the Wild were able to hold on to the lead and come away with a 2-1 victory. At the moment, the Wild are without its top goaltenders, Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom, who are each out due to health issues. Backup Darcy Kuemper has filled in admirably, most notably making 33 stops against the powerhouse offense of the Blackhawks.
Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
Just as the Wild, the San Jose Sharks are 7-3 in the last ten games. San Jose has also won five straight heading into Saturday’s game, and with home ice at the Tank the Sharks have a good chance of taking the streak to six consecutive wins. The Sharks have been a tough out at SAP this year, going 18-2-0 on the season, good for second best in the NHL. The Sharks come into this game after a 1-0 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday, a game in which Alex Stalock, the backup goaltender for San Jose, got the start and the shutout.
San Jose averages over 10 shots on goal per game more than Minnesota, which simply means the Sharks should see more opportunities to score. In addition, the Sharks are scoring just under 3.5 goals per game at home this season, but the Wild average a mere 1.84 goals per game on the road this season. While the Wild offense has picked it up a bit lately due to Zach Parise’s return, I just haven’t seen the road performances it would take in order to get behind this team heading into a hostile environment like San Jose. The money line is steep here, but I see the Sharks scoring early and often.