San Jose Sharks (44-17-7) at New York Rangers (36-28-4)
|Date & Time||Sunday March 16, 2014, 4:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: New York Rangers -105 / San Jose Sharks -105 --- Over/Under: 5.5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
It wasn't the prettiest win for the New York Rangers on Friday night but for a team desperate for points in the standings the win was all that mattered. New York struggled immensely at times against a much bigger and strong Winnipeg Jets club at the MTS Centre on Friday night, but it was some of the littlest guys on the ice that helped decide the game. In the closing moments of the second period Martin St. Louis skated behind the net with the puck and sent a feed to the center of the ice that Carl Hagelin converted on the backhand to snap a 2-2 tie. Hagelin was also credited with a goal in the opening minutes of the first period that gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead before Winnipeg surged back with two goals right away to take the lead. Things settled down for the most part after that but Hagelin's late goal in the second was the difference maker. Hagelin would add another goal in the third period to complete the hat trick and lift the Rangers to a 4-2 win. Now New York will return home for a single game against the San Jose Sharks before heading out on the road again. New York was embarrassed by San Jose earlier this season when they allowed nine goals in a 9-2 defeat back in October. The Rangers were attempting to learn new head coach Alain Vigneault's system at the time so there's no question Sunday's rematch will be a different affair. New York still lacks size however and that was evident against the Jets on Friday night. San Jose will look to take advantage of that and improve their winning streak to six games. After dropping the opening game of a four game home stand the Sharks won three straight games before winning their first two on this road trip. It ends on Sunday at Madison Square Garden and the Sharks will be looking to make it a clean sweep of this road trip with a win over the Rangers. Friday night it was first period goals from Matt Nieto and Jason Demers that helped lift the Sharks to a 4-3 win over the New York Islanders. Joe Thornton and Marty Havlat also scored as Antti Niemi improved his record to 33-13-6 on the season. As mentioned earlier this isn't going to be anything like the game these two teams played back in the first month of the season. The Rangers aren't the type of club that will be out for revenge but these points are so valuable for them at this stage, especially considering they've played more games than most of the teams they're battling with. Expect Henrik Lundqvist back in goal in this one and he's going to have to be at the top of his game for the Rangers to take this one. It should be a close contest but with the Sharks on a lengthy winning streak and at the end of an old road trip this might be a good spot for New York to steal one against a better hockey club.