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Sharks' Vlasic, Nieto out against Rangers

New York looks to finish California trip on a good note

by Brian Hunter @BrianHunterNHL / staff writer

RANGERS (40-23-8) at SHARKS (39-25-6)

TV: 4 p.m. ET; MSG+, CSN-CA, NHL.TV

Season series: New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal had a goal and an assist, and goalie Antti Raanta made 22 saves in a 4-0 win against the San Jose Sharks on Oct. 19 at Madison Square Garden. Forwards Mats Zuccarello, Jesper Fast and Viktor Stalberg also scored for the Rangers.

Rangers team scope: New York concludes its three-game California road trip having picked up three of four points, though the Rangers lost 4-3 in overtime to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. It was their third loss in four games (1-1-2). In the battle for second place in the Atlantic Division and home ice in the Eastern Conference First Round, they lead the New York Islanders by three points and the Pittsburgh Penguins by four; the Islanders have two games in hand and the Penguins one. Forward Rick Nash is looking for his first point since returning from a bone bruise that sidelined him seven weeks; Nash has 12 shots on goal in four games. Forward J.T. Miller scored his 19th goal of the season against the Kings and also has three assists during a three-game point streak.

Sharks team scope: San Jose will be without forward Matt Nieto and defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic after they were injured during a 3-1 loss Thursday to the Arizona Coyotes. Nieto didn't play in the third period and Vlasic departed with about eight minutes left in the third after a hard hit from Coyotes captain Shane Doan. Forward Tommy Wingels, a healthy scratch the past two games, will return to the lineup in place of Nieto. Defenseman Dylan DeMelo was recalled from San Jose of the American Hockey League to take the place of Vlasic. The Sharks open a six-game homestand Saturday and play nine of their final 12 regular-season games at SAP Center, where they are 14-15-3 this season but have won two in a row.

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