The 2016–17 San Jose Sharks will not go 82–0. In the second game of their five-game east coast road trip, the Sharks (2–1–0) dropped a 7–4 decision to the New York Rangers (2–1–0). Brent Burns scored twice and Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski added goals of their own, but it wasn't enough to overcome sloppy play by San Jose in its own end.
Marc Staal put the Rangers up 1–0 twelve minutes into the game, one-timing a puck past Martin Jones. Rangers offseason addition Jimmy Vesey got the play started after being knocked down by Burns behind the net, and Mats Zuccarello may have screened Jones on the play as he streaked in front.
The Sharks got a golden opportunity to tie the game near the end of the first period when Mika Zibanejad (high-sticking) and Jesper Fast (hooking) took penalties just 1:13 apart. The 5-on-3 opportunity nearly turned disastrous for San Jose when Rick Nash led a 2-on-1 rush down the ice, but Jones came up with the save and Couture cashed in seconds later. Nash fell down behind the net to set up the play, effectively resulting in a 5-on-2 for the Sharks' top power play unit. The end result of that play wasn't hard to predict:
Nash got the lead back for the Rangers 4:15 into the second period after Ryan McDonagh fired a shot off the end boards, where the puck took a big bounce right back to Nash's stick. The red hot Chris Kreider doubled the lead with a power play goal at 10:21 after being tripped by Brenden Dillon behind the net.
Burns scored his second goal of the season to make it 3–2 midway through the third, taking a feed from Pavelski and shooting it top corner to beat Rangers backup goalie Antti Raanta.
Kevin Hayes and Vesey put the Rangers up 5–2 with goals 21 seconds apart, then Burns added his second of the night to make it 5–3.
Pavelski cut the Rangers' lead to one once again with four and a half minutes left, beating Raanta with a Pavelskian™ tip for his first goal of 2016.
Empty net goals by Zuccarello at 18:24 and Michael Grabner at 19:53 put an end to the Sharks’ comeback attempt. San Jose will try to salvage the second game of the back-to-back tomorrow night in Brooklyn, with Aaron Dell set to make his NHL debut.
- Jones kept the game from becoming a laugher early, making a series of big saves in the first period and robbing Zibanejad with his right pad in the second.
- Tomas Hertl got into it with Dylan McIlrath near the end of the second. Hertl got two minutes for roughing while McIlrath got four, but the Sharks were unable to score on the ensuing power play.
- Raanta made 27 saves on 31 shots for the win. He had a 22-save shutout the last time the Sharks played at Madison Square Garden.
Fear the Fin’s Three Stars
1. Chris Kreider
2. Mats Zuccarello
3. Brent Burns