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Sharks vs. Rangers preview: Matinee at the Garden

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San Jose remains undefeated in regulation.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Playing the second half of a back-to-back on the road against a rested opponent is as close as it gets to a schedule loss in the NHL but the Sharks will try to defy the odds this afternoon against a Dan Boyle-less New York Rangers club that hasn't played since Thursday night. It helps that they'll have a rested Alex Stalock in net as the coaching staff continues their gameplan of alternating starters that has served them extremely well in the early going this season. With a 2-0-1 record thus far on their five-game road trip San Jose could probably afford to stomach a loss in trying circumstances today but Stalock posting a performance similar to the 41-save shutout Antti Niemi put up the last time the Sharks were in Madison Square Garden wouldn't hurt.

Ultimately the Sharks' main focus right now has to be getting back to playing their brand of hockey as they've been outshot in every game so far this season and are a bottom-ten team in score-close 5-on-5 shot differential albeit in a very small sample size. The Rangers, despite their loss of Boyle and Derek Stepan to injury and key pieces of last season's Stanley Cup Finalist like Anton Stralman, Benoit Pouliot and Brad Richards to free agency, have been excellent at controlling play so far in this young season and pose one of the biggest challenges of this road trip despite an underwhelming early record. It always seems to be a memorable game when these teams meet so hopefully Tomas Hertl scores four goals again and ends some other goalie's career.

San Jose Sharks

@

New York Rangers
4-0-1, 9 points
2-3-0, 4 points
1st in Pacific
7th in Metropolitan

2PM PST | Madison Square Garden | New York, New York
TV: CSNCA-HD, TSN | Radio: SJSharks.com, 98.5 KFOX
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Projected Sharks Lineup

Tomas Hertl - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Matt Nieto
Tye McGinn - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels
Eriah Hayes - Andrew Desjardins - Adam Burish

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Mirco Mueller - Brent Burns
Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Alex Stalock
Antti Niemi

Projected Rangers Lineup

Mats Zuccarello - Derrick Brassard - Martin St. Louis
Chris Kreider - Kevin Hayes - Rick Nash
Carl Hagelin - Dominic Moore - Lee Stempniak
Ryan Malone - Chris Mueller - Tanner Glass

Ryan McDonagh - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Kevin Klein
John Moore - Matt Hunwick

Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Talbot