The Minnesota Wild have seen a seven-point lead atop the Central Division turn into a seven-point deficit after dropping eight of their 10 games in March. The reeling Wild look to snap a five-game skid on Tuesday when they open a three-game homestand against the San Jose Sharks.

Unlike his team, Eric Staal has fared well in March with seven goals and an assist and has tormented San Jose throughout his career - and this season has been no exception. The 32-year-old scored two goals and set up another in a 5-4 win over the Sharks on Jan. 5 and tallied twice in a 3-1 victory on March 5, with the latter win improving Minnesota to 8-1-1 in its last 10 meetings with San Jose at Xcel Energy Center. While the Wild have scored just 23 goals in 10 games to fall behind first-place Chicago, the Sharks have mustered two goals en route to losing three in a row. San Jose, which is clinging to a four-point lead in the Pacific Division, was shut out for the fifth time this season on Monday as it began its four-game road trip with a 1-0 setback in Dallas.

TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, NHL.TV

ABOUT THE SHARKS (42-23-7): Martin Jones has split his last eight decisions (4-3-1) despite yielding two goals or fewer in each of them, but the 27-year-old didn't perform as well in his two meetings with Minnesota - surrendering seven tallies on 53 shots for an .868 save percentage. Defenseman Brent Burns has been held off the scoresheet in six straight games and eight of his last nine, beginning with the most recent encounter with the Wild - the team that selected him in the first round of the 2003 draft. The 32-year-old, who leads the team in both assists (43) and points (70), set up a pair of goals in the first matchup with Minnesota.

ABOUT THE WILD (43-22-6): Devan Dubnyk was well on his way to establishing his name among the front-runners in the conversation for the Vezina Trophy, but his performance of late isn't helping his case. The 30-year-old boasts a 1-7-0 mark with a 3.52 goals-against average and .875 save percentage this month and has been vying for his career-best 37th victory for five games. Defenseman Matt Dumba, who had an assist versus San Jose earlier this month, has chipped in offensively by scoring two goals and setting up three others in his last seven games.


1. Minnesota LW Zach Parise has four points (two goals, two assists) versus San Jose this season and 17 (eight goals, nine assists) in 19 career encounters.

2. The Sharks have surrendered the first goal in each of their last four games.

3. Minnesota reassigned F Tyler Graovac to Iowa of the American Hockey League on Monday while San Jose signed unrestricted free agent C Tim Clifton (Quinnipiac) to a two-year contract.

PREDICTION: Wild 2, Sharks 1