Opening Faceoff: Rangers vs. Sharks 10/23/17

Boston Herald

The Rangers finally ended their five-game losing skid on Saturday, beating the Nashville Predators 4-2. Jesper Fast and Chris Kreider scored their first goals of the season in the first period. In the second period, Mattias Ekholm scored to close the Rangers’ lead to one. Kevin Hayes would then score his third goal of the season in a Rick Nash-esque finish. Filip Forsberg continued his hot play when he scored his sixth goal of the season to once again narrow the Blueshirts’ lead. The game would remain at 3-2 until Jimmy Vesey sealed the Rangers’ win when he scored in the empty net.

In a fashion similar to the Rangers, the San Jose Sharks have also struggled thus far this season. At 3-4-0, the Sharks blanked the New Jersey Devils in an impressive effort before falling to the New York Islanders 5-3 on Saturday.

Keys to Victory
  1. The Rangers must be able to rely on all four lines for scoring. Against the Predators, the Rangers first line did not contribute at all on the score sheet. A first line which is able to produce is quintessential to every winning hockey team. In prior games, the Rangers first line has been the only line able to score. Against the Predators, Chris Kreider was finally the force the Rangers have been pushing him to be as he scored a goal. The Rangers’ third line which consisted of Jesper Fast, Kevin Hayes, and Jimmy Vesey found chemistry with every player on the line scoring. Rangers coach Alain Vigneault would be wise to keep this line in tact against the Sharks.
  2. The San Jose Sharks have a plethora of unproven forwards on their roster. The Rangers must be able to exploit their inexperience. In order to do so, the Rangers (as previously mentioned) must be able to find depth contributions as their top lines will be matched-up against the Sharks top lines.

Other Notes:

Sharks Defenseman Paul Martin (ankle) will likely not play against the Rangers.

Rick Nash will be playing in his 999th NHL game tonight, compiling 772 points (including this season) over that span.

I am a New York Rangers journalist, avid Blueshirt fan, and a long-time hockey player born and raised in... More about Noah Weiss

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