RANGERS (46-26-4) at SHARKS (42-26-7)
10:30 p.m. ET; SNE, SNO, MSG, CSN-CA, NHL.TV
Rangers team scope
The New York Rangers can clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they get at least one point against the San Jose Sharks or if the Boston Bruins lose in any fashion to the Nashville Predators. The Rangers hold the first wild card in the Eastern Conference with 96 points, 12 ahead of Boston. "Obviously it's just something you want to get over with and not let it hang and drag on any longer," forward Rick Nash said. Henrik Lundqvist is expected to make his second consecutive start after missing eight games with a hip injury. Lundqvist allowed five goals on 33 shots in a 6-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center on Sunday. Defenseman Dan Girardi will return to the lineup and replace Kevin Klein on the top pair with Ryan McDonagh. Klein missed 16 games with a back injury before playing against the Ducks. Girardi missed 12 games with an ankle injury before returning to the lineup in a 3-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Saturday. "Klein, after playing last game, felt a little tightness, so I'm not using him on back-to-back games," coach Alain Vigneault said. Matt Puempel likely will replace Pavel Buchnevich in the lineup and skate on the fourth line.
Sharks team scope
The Sharks have lost a season-high six straight games, but can clinch a playoff berth with a victory against the Rangers in regulation or overtime. The Sharks can also clinch if they defeat the Rangers in a shootout and the Los Angeles Kings either lose to the Edmonton Oilers in any fashion or defeat the Oilers in a shootout; if they get one point against the Rangers and the Kings lose to the Oilers in any fashion; or if the Kings lose to the Oilers in regulation. San Jose (91 points) is tied with the Oilers for second place in the Pacific Division, two points behind the Anaheim Ducks. "We're going to be a playoff team," coach Peter DeBoer said. "I want our game in the right place heading into the playoffs. Whatever seed we end up, whoever we draw in the first round, you get to those 16 teams that are in, there are no easy matchups, and there's no preferred matchups." The Sharks will be without second-line center Logan Couture, who was hit in the mouth by a deflected puck late in the second period against Nashville on Saturday and lost several teeth. "I don't have a time frame for when he'll be back, but I'm confident he's going to be back," DeBoer said. Patrick Marleau likely will center the second line. Martin Jones is expected to make his 60th start.
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello
Rick Nash -- Mika Zibanejad -- Jimmy Vesey
Michael Grabner -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast
Matt Puempel -- Oscar Lindberg -- J.T. Miller
Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi
Marc Staal -- Brady Skjei
Brendan Smith -- Nick Holden
Scratched: Pavel Buchnevich, Brandon Pirri, Adam Clendening, Tanner Glass, Kevin Klein, Steven Kampfer
Sharks projected lineup
Jannik Hansen -- Joe Thornton -- Joe Pavelski
Melker Karlsson -- Patrick Marleau -- Mikkel Boedker
Joel Ward -- Tomas Hertl -- Kevin Labanc
Joonas Donskoi -- Chris Tierney -- Timo Meier
Paul Martin -- Brent Burns
Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Justin Braun
Brenden Dillon -- David Schlemko
Scratched: Dylan DeMelo, Marcus Sorensen
Injured: Logan Couture (face)
Suspended: Micheal Haley
Fast took rushes on the third line and Miller dropped to the fourth. ... Haley will serve a one-game suspension for roughing Nashville Predators forward Calle Jarnkrok on Saturday. ... Karlsson said he expects to return to the lineup after missing eight games. ... Vlasic (flu) and forward Chris Tierney (undisclosed) are expected in the lineup after not playing on Sunday. ... Labanc was recalled from San Jose of the American Hockey League and likely will replace Sorensen in the lineup.
Nash has a four-game goal streak. ... Zuccarello has nine points (three goals, six assists) in his past eight games. ... Thornton has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games.