With a struggling defense largely to blame, the San Jose Sharks are no longer atop the Pacific Division.
A matchup with the Minnesota Wild's anemic offense on Sunday would seem to provide the Sharks a chance to move back into a tie for first place, but they haven't won at the Xcel Energy Center in nearly two years.
San Jose (32-21-7) has allowed 43 goals during a 3-7-1 stretch and gave up six for the third time in six games Saturday in Nashville. Antti Niemi surrendered four goals on seven shots in that 6-2 defeat, which helped drop the Sharks two points behind red-hot Phoenix in the division.
"It wasn't a good effort," captain Joe Thornton said. "We have to find a way to come together. We're in the seven spot (in the Western Conference) now, and it's unacceptable."
The Sharks will next face a Minnesota team that's scored 15 goals in 11 games this month. A 4-1 defeat at Dallas on Friday was its eighth in 10 games (2-6-2).
"Next game, we've got to be ready and make sure this doe...