Tough night: Sharks lose Wingels, Braun (upper body) ‘for a while’

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The San Jose Sharks might’ve suffered more than just a loss to New Jersey on Monday evening.

Forward Tommy Wingels and defenseman Justin Braun both left the game with upper-body injuries and will be “out for a while,” per head coach Todd McLellan (via CSN Bay Area).

The losses are significant. Braun sits third on the team in average time on ice per game (20:50) and second among all Sharks defensemen in assists, with 18. Wingels, tied for third in goals (with 11), also brought a key physical element to the team — he leads the club in hits, with 174, a total that puts him third in the NHL behind the Islanders’ dynamic duo of Matt Martin and Cal Clutterbuck.

The losses couldn’t come at a worse time for San Jose, either. The club hasn’t played well in January, losing five of nine, and two of those losses were embarrassing 7-2 blowouts at the hands of St. Louis. San Jose also won just once in four tries at the SAP Center, and that’s something it’ll need to turn around — beginning Wednesday, the Sharks have a three-game homestand against Western Conference elites in Los Angeles, Anaheim and Chicago.