Programming note: Sharks-Rangers coverage starts today at 1:30 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet California with Sharks Pregame Live.
Where they stand
Sharks: 4-0-1, 9 points, 1st Pacific Division
Rangers: 2-3-0, 4 points, 7th Metropolitan Division
Sharks: Logan Couture and Joe Pavelski each had three points, and the Sharks improved to 2-0-1 on their five-game road trip with a 4-2 win in New Jersey on Saturday. Joe Thornton tallied his 1200th career point with an empty net goal, Brent Burns extended his point streak to six games, and Antti Niemi made 35 saves to spoil the Devils’ home opener. The Sharks conclude their trip on Tuesday in Boston.
Rangers: The Rangers wrap up a four-game homestand this evening against San Jose, and are in the midst of a stretch of 14 of 19 games at Madison Square Garden. The defending Eastern Conference champs are coming off of a 2-1 shootout win over Carolina, with Derick Brassard scoring the only goal in regulation and Henrik Lundqvist making 29 saves. The Rangers had given up 17 goals in their previous three games before Thursday.
Keep an eye on…
Sharks: Patrick Marleau. It’s been another productive start to the season for Marleau, whose seven points (4g, 3a) places him tied for seventh in the NHL in scoring (with Brent Burns, among many others). Marleau had one goal and one assist on Saturday in New Jersey, but was also a key contributor on the penalty kill, which was a perfect 3-for-3.
Rangers: Rick Nash. Nash scored one goal in each of the first four games of the season, becoming the first player in Rangers franchise history to do to so, and his six goals gives him the NHL league lead. In his last 17 games against the Sharks, dating back to his days in Columbus, Nash has 11 goals and three assists for 14 points.
Goals per game: 3.80 (T – 2nd)
Goals-against per game: 2.00 (9th)
Power play: 25.0 percent (9th)
Penalty kill: 81.2 percent (17th)
Goals per game: 2.40 (T – 20th)
Goals-against per game: 4.00 (28th)
Power play: 0.0 percent (T – 27th)
Penalty kill: 85.0 percent (14th)
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 – Jason Demers
Alex Stalock (confirmed starter)
Mats Zuccarello – Derick 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 – Matt Hunwick
John Moore – Kevin Klein
Sharks: Raffi Torres (right knee), Tyler Kennedy (upper body), Barclay Goodrow (left hand), and Mike Brown (left hand) are out. James Sheppard (left knee) is on a conditioning assignment in AHL Worcester.
Rangers: Derek Stepan (fractured fibula) and Dan Boyle (broken hand) are out.
The Sharks are 8-18-5 all-time against the Rangers, who visit SAP Center on Jan. 10.
San Jose won both games of the season series last year, including Tomas Hertl’s four-goal game on Oct. 8.
“It’s been good so far. We’ve got a lot of points as a team and we play so often. We play almost every other day, so we’ve both had enough games.” – Antti Niemi, on the goalie platoon with Alex Stalock