NY Rangers at San Jose NHL Odds, Expert Pick & TV Info
When: Tuesday, March 28, 10:30 PM ET
Where: SAP Center, San Jose
TV: MSG, CSNCAL, NHL Center Ice
Opening NHL Lines: Sharks favored by TBA
Why Bet on the Rangers?In reality, the Rangers have little to play for at this point because they are going to finish as the East’s top wild-card team pretty much no matter what. As things stand, that would mean opening the playoffs at Atlantic champion Montreal.
New York comes in off a 6-3 loss in Anaheim on Sunday in the second of a back-to- back – the Blueshirts looked good Saturday in a 3-0 win at the LA Kings. Against the Ducks, Henrik Lundqvist made 28 saves in his first start since suffering a hip injury on March 7, and Brady Skjei, Derek Stepan and Rick Nash each scored for the Rangers. New York could have clinched a playoff spot with a win.
Lundqvist said he felt fine after missing seven games before serving as Antti Raanta’s backup against Los Angeles on Saturday. In his last seven games, he has three victories with two goals or less allowed, and four losses with four or more goals allowed. This season, he is 30-18- 2 with a 2.70 goals against average and .912 save percentage.
Nash scored his 22nd goal of the season in Sunday’s loss. Nash opened the scoring just 5:54 into the game, but the Rangers just couldn’t hang on. He finished the game with a plus-2 rating, two penalty minutes and two shots on goal in 15:12 of ice time. Nash has now found the back of the net in each of his last four contests. He’s up to 37 points in 63 games this season.
Stepan’s goal gave his team a 2-1 lead in the first period, but the Ducks were able to tie it up less than four minutes later. Stepan has now scored in back-to- back games. He’s up to 15 goals and 51 points in 76 contests.
“At the end of the night we had too many guys that brought a ‘C’ game, and that’s not good enough against a team that’s playing as well as they are at this time,” said Alain Vigneault, who inserted Kevin Klein onto a pair with Ryan McDonagh after Klein missed 16 games because of back spasms. Dan Girardi, who returned Saturday from an ankle injury, came out of the lineup.
Why Bet on the Sharks?San Jose has 91 points, tied for second in the Pacific with Edmonton, two behind Anaheim. So the Rangers did the Sharks no favors on Sunday. San Jose is carrying a six-game losing streak into this one. It was 7-2 in Nashville on Saturday a night after a 6-2 blowout in Dallas.
“I thought we were much more competitive tonight,” coach Peter DeBoer said of the loss to Nashville. “It was a step in the right direction. Every team goes through tough parts of the season and this is ours. We’ve got a lot of character in that room; we’ll get through it.”
Martin Jones faced 34 shots and allowed seven goals for a save percentage of .794, which is far below his season record of .916. This was the first time this season that Jones allowed seven goals in one game. Entering this game, his goals against average was the 10th-best in the league with a 2.34. He has now lost three consecutive games.
Sharks star center Logan Couture was struck by the puck in the face near the end of the second period and did not return. Couture has 25 goals and 52 points this season so he will be missed if gone for any length of time.
“You can’t replace him, so it would be really tough,” Patrick Marleau said when asked when asked how damaging it would be to lose Couture for any time. “But if that is the case, then guys are going to have to pull up the slack. Definitely we hope he’s back soon.”
Micheal Haley will have a disciplinary hearing for sucker punching Nashville’s Calle Jarnkrok. Haley sucker punched Jarnkrok after the Predators forward hit him into the boards. Haley received a 10-minute match penalty for the incident. Don’t be surprised if Haley gets suspended for multiple games.
Jarnkrok, who had hit Haley from behind a few seconds earlier, was hurt and didn’t return to the game. All six losses in this skid were in regulation. The last time the Sharks lost all four, or more, games on a road trip in regulation time was in March 1993, their second season as a franchise, when they lost six straight.