Sharks (42-26-7, 23-10-4 home) vs. New York Rangers (46-26-4, 27-10-1 away), 7:30 p.m., SAP Center, CSNCA, 98.5 KFOX
The Sharks are 9-22-3-2 all-time vs. the New York Rangers and are 0-1 against them this season. In their last meeting on Oct. 17, Joe Pavelski had a goal and three assists and Brent Burns had a goal and two assists in the Sharks’ 7-4 loss. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and two assists for the Rangers. New York has earned at least one point in 12 of its last 17 games against San Jose, dating back to Dec. 28, 2001 (11-5-1-0 over the span). The Sharks have lost six straight in regulation time for the first time since Jan. 2011. The last time the Sharks lost seven straight games without earning at least one point was during the 1995-96 season, when they went Dec. 26-Jan. 10 without a point.
Today’s stories: Micheal Haley suspended one game for punch on Calle Jarnkrok.
Logan Couture out indefinitely after taking a puck to the mouth
Logan Couture able to eat, speak, Sharks GM Doug Wilson says
Vlasic, Karlsson set to return vs. NYR as desperate Sharks look to end 6-game skid
Sharks notes: Marc-Edouard Vlasic and Melker Karlsson are set to return to the lineup Tuesday night as the Sharks look for their first win since March 14 when they beat Buffalo 4-1. Vlasic sat out Saturday’s game in Nashville with the flu and Karlsson had been out for the last eight games with a lower body injury. Martin Jones will start in goal. Kevin Labanc, recalled Tuesday morning from the Barracuda, will draw into the lineup against his hometown team. Marcus Sorensen and Dylan DeMelo will be the healthy scratches, from all appearances.
Here are three keys for the Sharks on Tuesday as they look to potentially move back into a tie for first place in the Pacific Division.
1) Start with the lead: Sharks fans are getting a little antsy. They haven’t seen their team go through a stretch like this in a few years. The fact that it’s coming at this stage of the season is also a little disconcerting. The Sharks can do themselves a big favor by scoring first and getting the home crowd back on their side. Not only would it put the fans slightly more at ease, it would help the Sharks feel good about their own game.
2) Keep it simple: The Sharks got burned on repeated odd-man rushes in their 6-1 loss to Dallas on Friday night. They corrected that to some degree against Nashville, but still gave up too many quality chances as the Predators put up a seven-spot. Without Logan Couture, the Sharks, at least to start, have to go back to basics on breakouts and special teams. Limit turnovers and if the Rangers create chances at even strength, make them create those after they take the puck 200 feet up the ice.
3) Everybody on board: The Sharks aren’t going to snap out of this behind the efforts of just one line, or one defense-pair, or by simply hoping their goalie can stand on his head. It’s going to take everyone on every shift selling out like it’s a Game 7 of a playoff series. Things aren’t going right and it’s going to take a max effort if you want to end this against arguably the best road team in the NHL. If things don’t go right, keep your head up and stay with it.