NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 23rd (All times Eastern)
San Jose Sharks (13-10-6) at Minnesota Wild (17-10-2), 2 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Minnesota Wild will try to extend their longest winning streak of the season on Saturday afternoon as they play host to a San Jose Sharks club that is still trying to save its season.
The Wild picked up a fourth straight victory on Wednesday, finishing off a perfect three-game road trip with a 4-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings.
Two days after a victory in Vancouver, the Wild survived getting outshot 18-5 in the first period as Niklas Backstrom stopped each shot fired his way in the frame en route to making 36 saves in the game. Devin Setoguchi staked the Wild to an early lead with a first-period goal and added his second of the game by capping a three-goal second frame for Minnesota.
Mikko Koivu and Kyle Brodziak added goals and Pierre-Marc Bouchard notched two assists for the Wild, who are on their longest winning streak since taking seven in a row from Nov. 28-Dec. 10 of last year.
"It's been fun hockey for us lately," said Setoguchi, who has six goals in his past five games. "The main thing is that everyone is ready to go from the start of the game, no matter who it is. When you have everyone going it makes it that much easier for everyone else."
Minnesota has also won six of its past seven and is tied with Vancouver for first place in the Northwest Division with 36 points. The Wild have a game in hand over the Canucks, who visit the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.
The Sharks, meanwhile, sit tied with Columbus for eighth overall in a crowded Western Conference and have won just twice in their past eight games. They had lost the first two of a five-game road trip before Wednesday's 4-3 shootout win over the Edmonton Oilers.
Logan Couture scored twice in regulation and added a shootout goal, while Dan Boyle had the winner in the tiebreaker. Tommy Wingels also scored to help San Jose overcome a 3-1 deficit in the third period, while Antti Niemi made 24 saves.
"Any time you can get points its big," said Couture. "You know that games come in bunches in this month and next month as well, so we've got to find a way to get points every single night."
San Jose snapped a five-game road slide and will finish up its swing on Monday in Anaheim.
03/23 10:37:50 ET