Heading into Minnesota, the Sharks were looking to assert themselves and show consistency. They came out on the losing end of a shutout, and yet, it felt like they asserted themselves and, well, showed consistency. San Jose controlled the puck and did just about everything right, it was mistakes in the penalty department that ended up being their undoing.
San Jose were hit with nine penalties to Minnesota's six, the worst of the nine were a pair of penalties in the second period where John McCarthy went to the box for high sticking, followed by Torrey Mitchell a minute later on a hooking call. The Wild took the 5-3 and turned it into the night's only point off of Antero Niittymaki in only forty-one seconds off of some fantastic passing.
The Sharks dominated in other aspects of the game, though. Thirty-six shots to the Wild's sixteen, but they couldn't solve the riddle that was Nicklas Backstrom.
Perhaps they'll have a better shot against Jaroslav Halak, who after looking untouchable in his previous two starts (shutouts), was touched for three goals against the Thrashers. Still, he turned back 25-shots on goal and the two shots he faced in the shootout at the end of the game.
The Sharks controlled the puck well, they had good goalie play, and they looked all-around decent against the Wild. Now they'll need to elevate their play to beat a Blues team that hasn't lost at the Scottrade Center since March 21st. They've won 11 straight in that building, and are going for a franchise-best twelfth against the Sharks on Thursday. The Blues though, have lost nine of their last eleven at home against the Sharks. They're 5-14-3 in the last 22 meetings against the Sharks.
Prior to the game against the Wild, the Sharks Joe Thornton, Dany Heatley and Patrick Marleau has a combined 20 points in their previous two outings with eight goals and twelve assists. They'll likely remain the top line. Antero Niittymaki is probably going to draw the start again for San Jose.