San Jose Sharks vs. New York Rangers - 1/10/15 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction
New York Rangers (23-11-4) at San Jose Sharks (22-15-5)
NHL Hockey: Saturday, January 10, 2015 at 10:00 pm (SAP Center)
The Line: San Jose Sharks -115 / New York Rangers -105 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Rangers enter Saturday night’s contest in San Jose as the hottest team in the National Hockey League. The Rangers have won 12 of their last 13 games for the first time since 1993 and they’ve started off a very difficult West Coast road trip with wins over the Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings on back-to-back nights. After a convincing 4-1 win in Anaheim on Wednesday night the Rangers decided to roll with backup netminder Cam Talbot in their Stanley Cup Finals rematch with the Kings. Talbot and the rest of the club got off to a slow start, allowing two Los Angeles goals in the first six minutes to fall into an early hole. Despite the lethargy that came with playing for the second consecutive night New York was able to cut the lead to 2-1 on a power play goal by Dan Boyle. It has been the emergence of Boyle on the backend that has helped solidify this hockey club during this streak. After having missed significant time early in the season Boyle is back and playing at the high level the Rangers expected when they signed him. In the second period the Rangers simply took over the hockey game. Kevin Klein continued his All-Star caliber season with his eighth goal of the year to even the score and just 19 seconds later it was Lee Stempniak who gave the Rangers the lead. Martin St. Louis would add a power play goal as New York would go on to the 4-3 win. Now the Rangers will try to sweep this difficult road trip with another victory in San Jose against a Sharks team that will be happy to be playing anyone that isn’t named the St. Louis Blues.
San Jose has won three of their last five games heading into this one with their two losses both being blowouts to the Blues. After a 7-2 loss on home ice last Saturday night the Sharks bounced back with wins over Winnipeg and Minnesota before getting a shot at some revenge in St. Louis on Thursday. Instead the Sharks were embarrassed for the second time in a week by one of the better teams in the Western Conference. Logan Couture scored a shorthanded goal with under two minutes remaining in the opening period to cut a 2-0 deficit in half, but San Jose managed to allow a power play goal before the end of the period. Melker Karlsson then opened the scoring in the second period with his 5th goal of the year just 29 seconds in, but that would be the last bit of offense for the Sharks. St. Louis would score twice in the second period and twice in the third as they routed San Jose 7-2 for the second time in a week. Antti Niemi was pulled after allowing five goals on 21 shots and Alex Stalock didn’t do much better replacing him. Stalock allowed two goals on just seven shots. San Jose has struggled with some of the better teams in the Western Conference and while they might be able to find their way into the post season with wins over lesser opponents it won’t do them any well in the playoffs.
This is a tough game to call right now because the Sharks are a different team on home ice and should show a little pride after their last performance. New York has been almost unbeatable but if there’s a spot for a let down it would be the last game of this tough West Coast trip after big wins over Anaheim and Los Angeles. Right now I’m leaning San Jose but if the total stays at five the over is the better play. New York keeps lightning the lamp during this winning streak.