Thursday, Nov 10, 2011, 7:30 PM PST
and return to HP Pavilion tonight for their first game against their former team while and , who played for the Wild last season, will also face off against ex-teammates.
The Sharks and Wild have both had their fair share of success lately-- Minnesota rides a five game winning streak into tonight's tilt, while the Sharks are 7-1-1 in their last nine. As we covered in our morning preview, the Wild's goaltending duo of and have combined to post a wild .982 SV% in their last five games. You have to figure the dam will break at some point, especially if their shots against totals remain so high (34 per game in their last five games), but there's nothing that says it has to happen tonight.
According to David Pollak of Working The Corners, here are what the expected lines and pairings will be tonight:
If the morning skate set-up proves accurate, Todd McLellan plans to leave his defense pairings as they were for the second half of that 4-2 victory over Los Angeles.
That means it’ll be Vlasic-Braun and Burns-White once you get past Boyle-Murray as the top pairing
The Sharks lines appear unchanged since last game:
Niemi in net for San Jose, Backstrom in net for Minnesota.
Some other links to keep you occupied until tonight's game:
- The Sharks will be auctioning off Veteran's Day practice jerseys during tonight's game against Minnesota and Saturday's game against Phoenix.
- Kevin Kurz of CSN's Sharks Talk looks at San Jose's decision to change their PK strategy, and tells the tale of how reunited a lost dog with its owner.
- All-Star game ballot. , Brent Burns, Joe Pavelski, , and will be the five Sharks on this year's
- Mike Russo of the Star Tribune breaks down tonight's game from the Wild perspective.
- Puck Daddy recaps the fallout from the on-ice "protest" of Tampa Bay's 1-3-1 defensive scheme. My opinion? If a team is currently 25th in the NHL in terms of shots against per game (31.6) and 23rd in the NHL in terms of goals against per game (3.00), it's not the huge issue people are making it out to be. Let em' play.
Puck drops at 7:37 PST.