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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, January 25th (All times Eastern)

Minnesota Wild (28-20-5) at San Jose Sharks (33-12-6), 10:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Armed with the knowledge that veterans Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau will remain in the mix for the foreseeable future, the San Jose Sharks aim to match their longest win streak of the season on Saturday as they host the Minnesota Wild.

The Sharks will try to record a sixth straight victory one day after signing Thornton and Marleau, both 34, to separate three-year extensions through the 2016-17 season.

Both were set to become free agents in July, but Thornton inked a deal worth a reported $6.75 million per year while Marleau is set to be paid $6.66 million per season.

"Patrick and Joe continue to perform at an elite level in the National Hockey League and, most importantly, they make the other players around them better," said Sharks general manager Doug Wilson in a statement Friday. "They both made it very clear that they wanted to stay in San Jose and we were able to agree on contracts that fit with our team building philosophy."

The Sharks have been contenders ever since they acquired Thornton from the Boston Bruins on Nov. 30, 2005. The captain leads the NHL this season with 47 assists and is tied for sixth with 53 points in 51 games, and has totaled 549 assists and 717 points with San Jose.

Marleau, taken second overall in the 1997 draft after Boston nabbed Thornton with the top pick, has 21 goals and 26 points in 51 games this season and is the Sharks' all-time leader with 425 goals and 908 points.

Neither player was able to find the scoresheet in Thursday's meeting with the Winnipeg Jets, but Joe Pavelski's third-period goal was enough in a 1-0 win thanks to a 20-save shutout by backup goaltender Alex Stalock.

Stalock was making his first start since Jan. 16, when he notched the first shutout of his career with 24 saves in a 3-0 road win over Florida.

"I'm going in to do my job and give the team a chance to win and we wound up getting two points," Stalock said of posting his second straight whitewash.

San Jose has won two straight at home to begin a four-game residency.

Pavelski, meanwhile, remained red hot with his seventh goal in four games and 19th in his last 21 games. He now ranks second in the NHL with 28 goals on the campaign.

Antti Niemi, among the league leaders with 43 starts on the season, is likely to start tonight and is 7-3-1 in his career versus the Wild with a 1.82 goals against average.

The Sharks are one win shy of matching their longest win streak of the campaign, first done with a 6-0 start to the season from Oct. 3-15 and matched from Nov. 21-Dec. 3.

San Jose dropped a 3-1 decision in Minnesota back on Dec. 8 in the first of three meetings this season, but countered with a 3-1 home victory on Dec. 12. That gave the Sharks a win in three straight and 12 of their last 14 at home versus the Wild.

Minnesota, which begins a four-game road trip, has won eight of its last 11 games and is tied with Vancouver for the final two playoff spots in the Western Conference with 61 points.

The Wild were blanked 4-0 in Dallas on Tuesday, but bounced back with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday. Jason Pominville and Matt Cooke had first-period goals, while Darcy Kuemper did his part with 33 saves.

"That was definitely the response we were looking for, especially our start," Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said of his team. "We were on our toes, we looked confident."

The 23-year-old Kuemper, making his sixth start in a row, appeared in line for his second career shutout, but Patrick Kane spoiled the whitewash with his 24th goal of the season with 31.2 seconds left in the game.

However, Kuemper came up with a clutch stop on the doorstep with under 10 seconds left and Zach Parise, who returned from a 14-game absence, was able to clear the puck out to secure the Wild's third win in four games.

Kuemper may have earned another start tonight and it would be his first against the Sharks. He has faced them once before in relief, facing only two shots in 16 minutes and giving up a goal.

01/25 10:24:53 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
3rd
TULSA 25
ECU 28
 
Final
BOS 102
CHI 109
Final
CHA 101
GSW 106
Final
TOR 102
DAL 106
 
Final
DET 88
MIL 104
 
Final
ATL 100
NOP 91
 
Final
HOU 85
LAC 102
 
Final
OKC 105
NYK 78
 
Final
IND 98
ORL 83
 
Final
SAN 112
SAC 104
 
4th
DEN 101
PHO 80
 
Half
POR 43
MEM 52
 
1st
LAL 30
MIN 19
 
Final
WMICH 21
NILL 31
Final
SMU 9
HOU 35
Final
IOWA 34
NEB 37
Final
SFLA 0
UCF 16
Final
MARS 66
WKENT 67
Final
KSU 27
AKR 24
Final
BGU 24
BST 41
Final
UMASS 21
BUF 41
Final
EMICH 16
TOL 52
Final
MIZZ 21
ARK 14
Final
SALABAMA 40
NAVY 42
Final
ARZ 42
ARST 35
Final
AFA 27
COLST 24
Final
UCLA 10
STAN 31
4th
VT 17
UVA 13
 
3rd
TULSA 25
ECU 28
 
Final
NCCU 65
EILL 40
Final
KU 82
TENN 67
Final
TEXAM 87
NO 65
 
Final
NCAT 57
RAD 65
 
Final
GEOR 58
BUT 64
Final
BRO 81
PVU 71
Final
RIU 66
SCU 44
Final
NARZ 70
SOUTH 63
Final
DART 68
MAST 67
Final
WRST 59
FIU 61
Final
XAV 73
UTEP 77
Final
OSU 73
JMU 56
Final
TXSOU 71
LAM 59
 
Final
TAMCC 75
MVSU 66
 
Final
AKAN 51
MIZST 55
Final
BUCK 80
PSU 88
 
Final
PROV 72
YALE 66
Final
UGA 62
MINN 66
Final
WISC 69
OKLA 56
Final
Terriers 70
NORST 72
 
Final
PEAY 62
STEPH 83
Final
FSU 58
CSOU 47
 
Final
VALPO 66
DRAK 46
Final
CIN 69
MTST 51
Final
SDU 75
PRIN 65
Final
WASU 76
RICE 74
Final
CSFU 64
USCU 79
Final
GT 61
RIDE 54
 
Final
TXPA 79
ALAST 91
Final
NCSU 60
BSU 54
Final
TCU 57
BRAD 49
 
Final
WAKE 65
DELST 72
 
Final
HART 83
EMERSON 50
 
Final
STJ 66
GONZ 73
Final
CLEM 62
HIGH 59
 
Final
SYR 72
HC 48
 
Final
MD 61
MON 56
Final
JVST 74
SAV 71
 
Final
MIAMI 87
SALA 75
Final
RUTG 68
VANDY 65
 
Final
PETE 66
TENST 58
 
Final
MARS 59
CLST 68
 
Final
JST 56
HOF 86
 
Final
INDST 62
MEM 72
 
Final
UF 64
UNC 75
 
Final
LATU 77
SAMF 64
 
Final
TULA 71
SELA 61
 
Final
NEB 75
TENNM 64
 
Final
MISS 75
CREI 68
 
Final
PORT 64
MURST 61
 
2nd
MARQ 63
MSU 72
 
2nd
ARK 74
UNT 63
 
Final
NCOL 82
STET 62
 
Final
IND 87
UNCG 79
 
Final
SJST 60
WMICH 79
 
2nd
MNTST 100
TXARL 81
 
2nd
UVA 49
LAS 34
 
2nd
STLU 37
MSST 54
 
2nd
COLST 52
PAC 42
 
Half
UTAH 37
NDAK 26
 
1st
ILL 8
BAY 7
 
1st
UAB 11
UCLA 23
 
11:30pm Tonight
WASH
LBSU
11:59pm Tonight
UCSB
MERC
Final
PHI 0
NYR 3
Final
ANA 1
CHI 4
Final
WAS 5
NYI 2
Final
PIT 2
CAR 4
Final
NJD 4
DET 5
 
Final
BUF 2
MON 1
 
Final
CLB 0
VAN 5
 
Final
BOS 2
WIN 1
 
Final
FLA 3
OTT 2
 
Final
STL 4
EDM 3
 
3rd
DAL 4
MIN 3