RANGERS (1-1-0) at SHARKS (2-0-0)
TV: MSG, CSN-CA
Season series: This is the first of two meetings between the New York Rangers and San Jose Sharks. They will meet again on March 16 at Madison Square Garden.
Big story: Alain Vigneault attempts to build off his first win as Rangers coach, which he recorded with Monday night’s 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center. Tuesday night marks the third of New York’s season-opening, nine-game road trip while they put the finishing touches on the transformation of MSG.
Rangers: There’s no doubt New York will need offensive production from first-line skaters Brad Richards and Rick Nash if it intends on competing in the Metropolitan Division. Both played key roles Monday; Richards scored his first two goals of the season and Nash had two assists to help the Rangers earn their first win of the season.
“This is definitely the way we wanted to start off the week,” said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 28 saves. “I thought we played really well. We created a lot of chances, especially in the second period.
“A lot of good things here. We played with a lot of confidence. We did a lot of smart plays out there.”
Sharks: San Jose is off to the start it was hoping for coming out of training camp. The Sharks have won their first two games of the regular season, earning 4-1 victories Thursday and Saturday against the Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes, respectively. Rookie Tomas Hertl scored his first two goals of his career Saturday.
"We have a pretty good idea of what he can do and he's lucky to be playing with a couple of pretty good players that complement him well," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "It's a big night for him, one that he'll remember for a long time. More importantly, the group played really, really well."
Who's hot: Nash has three assists and Derek Stepan has two assists for the Rangers. … Hertl isn’t the only player producing for San Jose. Patrick Marleau has two goals, Logan Couture has a goal and two assists and Marc-Edouard Vlasic has three assists. Antti Niemi has a 1.00 goals-against average and .956 save percentage in the two victories.
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