San Jose Sharks vs. Minnesota Wild Pick & Prediction APRIL 13th 2024

The San Jose Sharks will go for back-to-back wins for the first time since January when they face off against the visiting Minnesota Wild on Saturday night.

San Jose (19-51-9, 47 points) is coming off a 3-1 win at the Seattle Kraken on Thursday night. Luke Kunin, Kyle Burroughs and Fabian Zetterlund each scored for the Sharks, and Devin Cooley stopped 49 of 50 shots to secure the victory.

Meanwhile, Minnesota (37-33-9, 83 points) hopes to bounce back on short rest after losing 7-2 against the host Vegas Golden Knights on Friday night. The Wild gave up three goals in the first period, one goal in the second, and three tallies in the third.

It has been a trying season for San Jose, which has endured the fourth-most losses in regulation time in franchise history. But the Sharks hope to provide a bright spot as they go for two straight wins for the first time since Jan. 20-23, when they won three in a row.

Cooley could give them a good opportunity if he earns another start in net.

The 26-year-old rookie from Los Gatos, Calif., has shined in the first four starts of his NHL career. He is 2-1-1 with a 2.99 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.

After his 49-save performance on Thursday, Cooley said he tried to keep his mindset simple.

“I try not to think about the future too much,” he said. “I tried to just really stay in the present. I saw a few shots early on, and that helps you get into the flow of things. So once I made the first couple of saves, I was like, ‘Hey, I feel good.'”

San Jose could turn to veteran goaltender Mackenzie Blackwood if it opts to rest Cooley. Blackwood is 10-24-4 with a 3.38 GAA and a .900 save percentage for the season.

In three career games against Minnesota, Blackwood is 0-2-1 with a 2.94 GAA and a .906 save percentage. He is in his first season with the Sharks after spending five seasons with the New Jersey Devils.

The Wild likely will counter with Filip Gustavsson at goalie.

Gustavsson, 25, is 19-18-4 with a 3.11 GAA and an .898 save percentage this season. He has gone 0-2-1 in his last three starts and is seeking his first win since March 28 against the Sharks, when he stopped 26 of 27 shots.

In four career games against San Jose, Gustavsson is 2-1-1 with a 2.47 GAA and a .903 save percentage.

Minnesota’s other option in net is 39-year-old Marc-Andre Fleury, but he is unlikely to start on short rest after facing the Golden Knights on Friday, when he gave up seven goals on 30 shots.

Like San Jose, Minnesota has been eliminated from playoff contention.

Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin said he and his teammates could not hang their heads during the final few games of the regular season.

“Just keep grinding, keep working hard and play good the rest of this season here,” Brodin said. “Just play hard and don’t quit.”

–Field Level Media

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