Rangers vs. Sharks Open Game Thread

Tonight the New York Rangers look to collect their first two points of the season with a win against the San Jose Sharks. The Rangers are 0-3 to start the year, while the Sharks are 2-2-0 with four points.

The Rangers have been off since their 8-5 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, in the second half of a back-to-back.

The Sharks, in their last matchup, defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 8-2 on Tuesday.

There will be some lineup changes for the Rangers. Kevin Shattenkirk will be a healthy scratch tonight, after getting off to a slow start in his first regular season action since last January. Head coach David Quinn already confirmed that Shattenkirk will return to the lineup on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers.

Joining Shattenkirk as a healthy scratch is Neal Pionk. Through their first three games of the season, Pionk has yet to tally any points, and the Rangers have taken the lowest percentage of the shot share at 5-on-5 with him on the ice at just 37.89 percent (via NaturalStatTrick). While Quinn and the Rangers do need to learn what they have in Pionk this season and put him in a better position to succeed, possibly on an pair with Brady Skjei or Brendan Smith since he’s rarely played anywhere besides Marc Staal’s right since joining the Rangers, he also needs to improve his game.

With Shattenkirk out, Anthony DeAngelo who played 17:34 last game in his season debut, will move up to the first power play unit. Skjei will replace Pionk on the second power play unit. Another change to the power play unit is Filip Chytil moving to the second unit and Mats Zuccarello taking his place on the first.

Other lineup changes include Fredrick Clarsson drawing in for the first time this season, most likely alongside Smith. DeAngelo looks to be partnered with Staal, and Skjei remains with Adam McQuaid. Chytil has been shifted to the fourth line, between Vladislav Namestnikov and Vinni Lettieri, while Brett Howden moves up a line with Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider. Mika Zibanejad is set to skate between Pavel Buchnevich and Jesper Fast skating, while Jimmy Vesey and Ryan Spooner will be pivoted by Kevin Hayes.

Henrik Lundqvist will return to the starters’ net for his third start of the season after Alexandar Georgiev played on Sunday. On the other side of the ice, Aaron Dell will backstop the Sharks. No line changes are expected from their last game on Tuesday.

For more on the Sharks, check out our friends over at FeartheFin.

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