Timo Meier and the San Jose Sharks hope their recent success travels well when the team begins a two-game road trip against the Minnesota Wild on Monday in Saint Paul, Minn.
Meier scored five times during the Sharks’ perfect four-game homestand, highlighted by his two-goal performance in a 3-2 overtime victory versus St. Louis on Saturday.
“He keeps adding layers to his game,” San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said of the 22-year-old Meier, who has set a single-season record for goals scored (26) by a Swiss-born player.
“A couple big moments for us (on Saturday),” DeBoer added. “I thought he had good legs. He was one of the guys I thought was really going. I actually double-shifted him a few times to keep him going because I think he felt good.”
Meier resides one point shy of 100 for his young career, a far cry from fellow forward Joe Thornton. The 39-year-old Thornton notched an assist on Meier’s first goal on Saturday for his 1,467th career point, tying Hall of Famer Stan Mikita for 14th place in NHL history.
Forward Logan Couture recorded his second assist on Saturday after setting up Kevin Labanc’s overtime goal to help San Jose improve to 13-3-1 in its last 17 games.
“It feels good,” Couture said. “It means that we’ve come a long way. Not too long ago, it was December there, we were going through some tough times as a team and we weren’t anywhere near the top of the conference. It means that we’ve found our game and we’ve played up to our capabilities.”
Couture scored twice and Martin Jones made 26 saves in the Sharks’ 4-0 win at the Wild on Dec. 18.
Former Minnesota defenseman Brent Burns has flourished during his eight seasons in San Jose. The 2017 Norris Trophy recipient, in fact, bolstered his club-best totals in assists (60) and points (73) by setting up a pair of goals in the Sharks’ 4-3 victory against the visiting Wild on Nov. 6.
Minnesota opens a season-high five-game homestand versus San Jose after seeing its eight-game point streak (6-0-2) snapped with a 6-2 setback at Florida.
“We didn’t have much jump,” Wild forward Zach Parise said of his team that was playing in its fifth game in seven nights.
“I thought they played well. I felt like they had the puck the whole night. We didn’t really get much.”
While the team-scoring leader Parise (55 points) has just one assist in his last four contests, fellow forward and former Shark Eric Fehr set up J.T. Brown’s goal on Friday to extend his season-high point streak to four games (two goals, two assists).
Devan Dubnyk yielded three goals on seven shots versus the Panthers before he was replaced by ex-Shark Alex Stalock to start the second period.
The 32-year-old Dubnyk will look to atone versus San Jose, against which he saw his career mark dip to 10-10-2 after turning aside just 39 of 46 shots to lose both encounters this season.
Jones, however, has stopped 104 of 113 shots to win all four of his starts in March. The 29-year-old won both meetings with Minnesota, improving to 4-5-2 with two shutouts in 12 career appearances against the club.
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