Minnesota Wild vs. San Jose Sharks Pick & Prediction MARCH 3rd 2024

The Minnesota Wild will try to snap a three-game losing streak when they face off against the San Jose Sharks on Sunday evening in St. Paul, Minn.

Minnesota is coming off a 3-1 loss on the road against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. That followed losses earlier in the week at home against the Carolina Hurricanes and on the road vs. the Nashville Predators.

In the past three games, the Wild have been outscored 12-4.

“Tough to get momentum, tough to get chances when you’re always defending,” Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury said.

San Jose also is looking for momentum as it heads to Minnesota on short rest. The Sharks are coming off a 3-2 loss in the shootout round against the Dallas Stars on Saturday.

The Sharks earned a point for making it to the shootout round but fell to 0-5-1 in their past six games. They have not won since Feb. 15, when they beat the Calgary Flames 6-3.

During the Sharks’ six-game winless slump, they have been outscored 28-13.

San Jose’s task could be even tougher without defenseman Ty Emberson and forward Alexander Barabanov, both of whom were injured Thursday against the Anaheim Ducks. Barabanov sustained a lower-body injury, and Emberson could miss multiple weeks because of a laceration.

“Right now, he’s (out) at least a couple weeks,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. “This was just a freak play, really. Very unfortunate.”

The Wild will hope for better luck after Mason Shaw returned to the lineup this weekend. Shaw had not played for nearly a year as he recovered from his fourth ACL tear.

In 7:12 of ice time against the Blues, Shaw recorded two hits and a takeaway.

“You learn to appreciate what you’ve given yourself and what you’ve worked back to,” Shaw said. “At the end of the day, once we get to the rink, it’s just hockey again. And we’re in the middle of a fight right now.”

Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson likely will get the start one night after Fleury faced the Blues. Gustavsson is 16-15-3 with a 3.31 goals-against average and an .893 save percentage this season.

In two career games against San Jose, Gustavsson is 0-1-1 with a 2.93 GAA and a .902 save percentage.

San Jose likely will counter with Kaapo Kahkonen in net one night after Magnus Chrona made the start against Dallas. Kahkonen is 6-19-2 with a 3.68 GAA and an .898 save percentage in 29 games (25 starts) for the season.

Kahkonen started his career with Minnesota, where he won 31 games in parts of three seasons before he was traded to San Jose. This would be his first start against his former team.

Kirill Kaprizov leads the Wild with 63 points (26 goals, 37 assists) in 54 games. Joel Eriksson Ek is next with 54 points (28 goals, 26 assists) in 61 games.

San Jose’s top scorer is Mikael Granlund, who has 35 points (7 goals, 28 assists) in 46 games.

This will be the first of three games between the teams during the regular season. They also are scheduled to play March 28 in St. Paul and April 13 in San Jose.

–Field Level Media

Docsports, The most trusted name in sports handicapping