The Rangers are looking to right the ship after dropping their last three games in a row. They were able to scrounge up a point yesterday afternoon against the Devils, but were once again frustrated on offense, scoring their only goal 3 minutes into the game.
San Jose has been a team afire to start the season, posting a 4-1-0 record. Their lone loss came two nights ago at the hands of the New York Islanders, however they are averaging over three goals per game (small sample size helps there). Despite the hot offense, that is not where you will find the team MVP. Martin Jones, who is rocking an absurd stat line (4-0-0. 0.49 GAA, .989 SV%, 2 SO), has been the star of the Sharks, and is currently leading the league in all goaltender categories except wins. Here is the rest of the Sharks' anticipated lineup:
Nikolay Goldobin - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski
Patrick Marleau - Tomas Hertl - Joel Ward
Matt Nieto - Chris Tierney - Tommy Wingels
Bryan Lerg - Barclay Goodrow - Mike Brown
Brenden Dillon - Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Justin Braun
Dylan DeMelo - Matt Tennyson
And while we're on the subject of lineups, here is the Rangers' projected lineup:
Rick Nash - Derek Stepan - Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider - Derick Brassard - Jesper Fast
J.T. Miller - Kevin Hayes - Oscar Lindberg
Dominic Moore - Jarret Stoll - Viktor Stalberg
Ryan McDonagh - Kevin Klein
Keith Yandle - Dan Girardi
Marc Staal - Dan Boyle
Tonight will feature Antti Raanta in his season debut for the Rangers, giving Henrik Lundqvist the night off after playing yesterday afternoon. Last season for Chicago, Raanta went 7-4-1 with a 1.89 GAA, .936 SV%, and 2 SO. In his career against San Jose, Raanta suffered one loss, giving up one goal and making 18 saves.
Tonight has the potential to be a very important game for the Rangers. Yes, it's early in the season, and yes, this sort of start is par for the course for the Rangers, but a win could mean some renewed confidence and pep in our step to finish the month out strong, while a loss would drop them to below .500 and really have people scratching their heads.
Let's hope we see some big names step up tonight.
Let's go get two points.
Let's go Rangers.