NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, October 19th (All times eastern)
San Jose Sharks (3-2-1) at Minnesota Wild (3-2-1), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild are expected to have star forward Marian Gaborik back on the ice this evening when they wrap up a four-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks at the Xcel Energy Center.
Gaborik, who had 18 goals and 22 assists in 65 games in 2003-04, was sidelined during the preseason and has missed Minnesota's first six games with a pulled groin.
The Wild, though, have not missed Gaborik too much, especially on the power play where they are a league best 33.3-percent (10-for-30). They are also first in killing penalties, as they have allowed just two goals in 40 power play opportunities by their opponents this season.
On Sunday, Manny Fernandez stopped 28-of-29 shots and came just seconds away from a shutout, as Minnesota defeated the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, 4-1. Filip Kuba scored the game-winning goal for the Wild, have won two of their last three. The Wild has scored first in five of its six games this season and has held the lead in every game it has played.
Brian Rolston, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Kyle Wanvig also scored for Minnesota, while Marc Chouinard and Todd White each had three assists in the victory.
The Wild, who will hit the road for two games after tonight's tilt, is 3-1-0 in their arena this season.
San Jose, meanwhile, comes in on a sour note after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to the Detroit Red Wings on Monday. Nils Ekman and Marco Sturm netted goals and Evgeni Nabokov made 31 saves for the Sharks, who had their three- game winning streak snapped.
As time was running out in overtime, Jiri Fischer picked up a loose puck in the San Jose zone and fired a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that beat Nabokov high to the glove side for the game-winning goal.
Patrick Marleau, who assisted on Sturm's goal, has a four-game point streak. He has three goals and four assists during that stretch.
San Jose, which is in the midst of a season-long six-game road trip, is 1-2-1 away from home on the year.
The Sharks were 3-1-0 against the Wild in 2003-04 and have won four of the last six meetings. However, San Jose is just 2-4-1 in its last seven visits to Minnesota.
Only three of the 16 all-time meetings between these teams have been decided by more than two goals.
10/19 10:28:57 ET