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Rangers at Sharks preview

New York 6-3-1 in past 10; Boughner to debut as San Jose coach, Thornton will play 1,600th NHL game

by Ross McKeon / Independent Correspondent

RANGERS (15-12-3) at SHARKS (15-16-2)

10:30 p.m. ET; NBCSCA, MSG, NHL.TV


The Game

Bob Boughner will coach his first game for the San Jose Sharks against the New York Rangers at SAP Center on Thursday.

Boughner, who had been an assistant with the Sharks, was promoted after coach Peter DeBoer was fired on Wednesday.

San Jose, trying to end a five-game winless streak (0-4-1), has been outscored 22-7 during the skid.

Joe Thornton will become the 12th in NHL history to play in 1,600 regular-season games; The 40-year-old center will join forward Patrick Marleau (1,686 games played) as the first teammates in League history to appear in the same game with each having reached the 1,600-game plateau.

The Rangers seek their seventh victory in 11 games; they're 6-3-1 in their past 10 after going 2-3-1 in their previous six.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev will start; he's 4-1-0 with a 1.81 goals-against average and .954 save percentage in his past five starts.


Players to watch

Rangers forward Artemi Panarin has four points (three goals, one assist) in his past four games.

Sharks defenseman Erik Karlsson has six assists in his past seven games.


They said it 

"You just never know with a coaching change how quickly people make changes that are going to be that impactful. But at the end of the day, we expect a hard game, regardless of who's coaching the San Jose Sharks." -- Rangers coach David Quinn

"I'm still a long ways away from [Patrick Marleau], but it's something special. And I would just like a win for my 1,600th game." -- Sharks center Joe Thornton


Rangers projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Kaapo Kakko

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Greg McKegg -- Filip Chytil -- Jesper Fast

Brendan Smith -- Brett Howden -- Micheal Haley

Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: None

Injured: Libor Hajek (knee), Brendan Lemieux (undisclosed)


Sharks projected lineup

Evander Kane -- Logan Couture - Timo Meier

Tomas Hertl -- Joe Thornton -- Kevin Labanc

Patrick Marleau -- Barclay Goodrow -- Joachim Blichfeld

Marcus Sorensen -- Dylan Gambrell -- Melker Karlsson

Marc-Edouard Vlasic -- Erik Karlsson

Brenden Dillon -- Brent Burns

Mario Ferraro - Tim Heed

Martin Jones

Aaron Dell

Scratched: Lukas Radil, Noah Gregor

Injured: Dalton Prout (upper body), Antti Suomela (upper body), Radim Simek (knee)


Status report

Lemieux will be a game-time decision. … Suomela and Simek each participated in the morning skate wearing a non-contact jersey.


Stat pack

Trouba has seven points (two goals, five assists) in his past seven games. … Burns has no points in his past nine games. … Thornton has not scored a goal since March 18 of last season - a span of 41 consecutive regular-season games.

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