Sharks holding Niittymaki audition

Updated: January 20, 2012, 10:00 AM ET
By Craig Custance

It's officially a conditioning trip. But make no mistake, San Jose Sharks goalie Antero Niittymaki is headed to Worcester to be showcased. The veteran goalie hasn't played an NHL game this season while recovering from September hip surgery, and he will play Friday and Saturday against Providence.

"He's 100 percent healthy," GM Doug Wilson said Wednesday afternoon. "He's pain-free."

He also gives the Sharks the most depth they've had in goal all season. Antti Niemi and Thomas Greiss have been outstanding for the Sharks. Heading into Thursday's game, Niemi was 20-8-5 with a 2.28 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Greiss' secondary numbers are even more impressive, with a 2.09 GAA and .926 save percentage.

Making Niittymaki even more expendable is the recovery of prospect Alex Stalock, who has been out nearly a year following a sliced tendon injury in his leg. Wilson said Stalock is back and ready to resume his career.