The NHL is set up with an action packed day throughout Sunday afternoon. Eleven games are up on the board throughout January 24. One of these games will be between the San Jose Sharks and the Minnesota Wild. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season and will look for a win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 8:00 PM Eastern time.
San Jose has earned a record of 2-3-0 to open up this season, which has them sitting in sixth place of the West Division. The Sharks are coming off a loss in their last game against the Wild. San Jose will look to turn it around with a win in this one. The Sharks are trying to turn it around early in this season after a disappointing campaign last season.
The Wild have put up a record of 4-1-0 throughout the early part of this season, which has them tied for the top spot in the West Division. Minnesota has been able to win back to back games coming into this one. The Wild have been able to turn it around early in this season. Minnesota will look to take over on Sunday night as they look to keep up the winning streak.
These two teams have stepped up throughout this season, but it has been Minnesota with a very surprising start. The Wild have come out quick throughout the season and will look to knock off the Sharks again in this one. San Jose has struggled a bit early in the season, but will look to take over in this one as they try to get back to .500.
The Sharks and the Wild met up three times throughout last season. San Jose hosted the first game on November 7. Eric Staal had a goal and two assists, while Luke Kunin had a goal and an assist. Logan Couture had a goal and three assists. Tomas Hertl had a goal and two assists as well. Evander Kane, Timo Meier and Marcus Sorensen all had a goal and an assist to lead the Sharks to a 6-5 win.
The second game shifted to Minnesota on February 15. Dylan Gambrell scored a goal to open up the scoring in the third period. Melker Karlsson iced the game with an empty netter as well. Alex Stalock turned away 19 of 20 shots, but it was not enough. Martin Jones was able to stop all 39 shots he faced to help lead San Jose to a 2-0 win.
San Jose hosted the final game of the season series on March 5. Stefan Noesen and Joe Thornton each scored for the Sharks, which was not enough. Zach Parise and Ryan Suter both had a goal and an assist on the night. Alex Galchenyuk scored as well for Minnesota. Alex Stalock stopped 40 of 42 shots to help lead the Wild to a 3-2 win.
The first game of this season’s series was on January 24. Matthew Nieto scored the lone goal for the Sharks, which was not enough. Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway both had a goal and an assist for the Wild. Cam Talbot and Kaapo Kahkonen combined to stop 28 of 29 shots after Talbot left after the first period. Minnesota finished with a 4-1 win.
San Jose has been solid on both sides of special teams throughout the early part of this season. The Sharks have capitalized on 5 of their 21 power play chances, which is a 23.8 percent power play. San Jose has killed off 16 of the 18 penalties against them, which is an 88.9 percent kill rate. The Sharks will look to use their special teams to their advantage in this one.
The Wild have not found a way to get their power play going this season, but have been strong on the penalty kill. Minnesota has scored only 1 power play goal on 23 power play attempts, which is a 4.4 percent success rate. The Wild have given up 1 power play goal on 16 opportunities, which is a 93.8 percent penalty kill. Minnesota will look to turn it around in this one.
These two teams have been strong on the penalty kill to open up this season. San Jose had the edge coming into this one with the better power play this season. The Sharks have dominated with a man advantage and will look to break through on Minnesota’s penalty kill. The Wild’s power play has struggled this season, but if they could get it going in this one, it would be huge.
Martin Jones will likely get the start in the crease for the Sharks in this one. Jones has started in three games early in this season, earning a record of 2-1-0. He has posted a save percentage of .893 and a 3.08 GAA through his starts. Jones turned away 22 of 23 shots in his last start against the St. Louis Blues and will look to step up in this one.
I expect Kaapo Kahkonen to get the nod in the net for Minnesota on Sunday night. Kahkonen has gone 2-0 so far this season. He has posted a .951 save percentage and a GAA of 1.20 through those starts so far. Kahkonen stopped all 17 shots he faced against the Sharks when he stepped in on Friday night. The Wild will look for him to step up again in this one.
These two goalies have had solid starts to this season. Kahkonen has only given up two goals on 41 shots this season, but San Jose will look to break through on him in this one. Jones had a nice outing against the Blues in his last game. If Jones can build off of that it could help the Sharks earn the win. I expect San Jose to come out hot to try to break through on Kahkonen early and often.
The Wild were able to win the first game of this season’s series with San Jose, but I think that the Sharks can bounce back with a win in this one. Minnesota has jumped out to a hot 4-1 record, but I think that the Sharks will be able to bounce back with a win in this one. If San Jose can get the offense going early in this one, they should be able to bounce back with a win.
BetOnline has Minnesota listed as a -152 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Wild will win this game around 60.3 percent of the time. Minnesota has been the better team this season, but this line seems a little big to me. I think that the Wild will struggled in this one for the first time this season as San Jose bounces back with a win.