San Jose Sharks (19-5-5) at Minnesota Wild (17-9-5)
|Date & Time||Sunday December 8, 2013, 6:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild +124 / San Jose Sharks -136 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The San Jose Sharks look to wrap up their four game road trip with a victory in Minnesota on Sunday night. San Jose will have to clean things up defensively if they want to snap a two-game losing streak that has seen them allow 10 goals in consecutive losses to the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes. Friday night's loss in Carolina was disappointing because the Sharks jumped out to a quick 2-0 first period lead. Tommy Wingels and Marc-Edouard Vlasic scored in the opening frame to put the Sharks in front, but Carolina got some momentum back with one in the second and took over in the third. Alex Stalock was playing well in net until the final 20 minutes when he allowed the Hurricanes to take the lead in less than a two-minute span and then jump back in front after Justin Braun tied things at 3. The Hurricanes would add an empty net goal as Carolina took down San Jose by a score of 5-3. Stalock finished the game with 30 saves on 34 shots. San Jose's big time forwards were pretty much neutralized in this one against a Hurricanes club that isn't all that great defensively. Now the Sharks look to rebound when they head into Minnesota to take on a Wild club that has had struggles of their own of late.
Minnesota has lost five of their last seven games and after a two-game winning streak, the Wild really laid an egg on Friday night. Minnesota hit the road and they were dominated by the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night. After a scoreless first period, the Wild allowed two second period goals and two third period goals as they fell by a final of 4-0. The Wild were outshot 41-20 in the game, including 14-5 in a third period, in which they entered trailing by two gols. Typically, it's the team that's facing the deficit that comes out and plays with desperation, but instead it looked like the Wild mailed it in when they were down by a couple and Columbus controlled things. Niklas Backstrom dropped to 2-4-2 on the season, making 37 saves in the loss. Zach Parise led the Wild with five shots on goal in the game. Things don't get any easier for the Wild after this one as they head to Anaheim, San Jose, and Colorado for a brutal three-game road trip. This is a big game for Minnesota if they want to prevent this hiccup from lasting any longer.