One night after an impressive victory over the Kings, the New York Rangers would find themselves in San Jose facing the Sharks. After a few days off, the Rangers look revitalized against the Kings. But, on Tuesday night, not only did fatigue catch up with them, the Rangers ran into a team that was clearly gaining steam.
The Sharks would win their third straight game by trouncing the Rangers 9-2. Four of San Jose's nine goals would come from the stick of Sharks forward Tomas Hertl, who scored two goals against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.
Just 2:32 into the game, Sharks blueliner Brad Stuart was called for elbowing Rick Nash. Nash would finish the first period, but did not come back out with the team in the second period. (UPDATE: Stuart is scheduled to have a hearing over the phone with the NHL on Wednesday to discuss the elbowing incident.)
31 seconds after Stuart's penalty, San Jose was called for too many men on the ice, giving the Rangers their first five-on-three power play this season. The Rangers would capitalize soon thereafter. Brad Richards scored on a deflection to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead. Along with Richards' two goal against the Kings on Monday night, he now has three goals so far this season.
But, with the game back to a five-on-four advantage for the Rangers, San Jose would tie the game up on a shorthanded goal by Marc-Edouard Vlasic. Then, minutes later, a Dan Boyle slapshot would make it past starter Henrik Lundqvist to give the Sharks the edge in the first period.
The Rangers were outplayed in the first, and the trend would continue in the second. Nearing the half way point of the game, San Jose would find the net again via goals by Matt Nieto and Tomas Hertl. The Nieto goal was his first NHL goal, while the Hertl goal at 9:19 of the second would chase Henrik Lundqvist from the game in favor of backup Martin Biron, who saw his first action of this regular season. Lundqvist allowed four goals on 26 shots prior to being pulled.
But, Biron couldn't stop the floodgates. Less than a minute after entering the game, an opportunistic bounce off the endboards caused Biron to lose sight of the puck, which led to an easy tap in for the Sharks' Logan Couture and a 5-1deficit for the Rangers. Later in the second, Hertl would receive a great pass from Joe Thornton and score his second of the game to extend the Sharks' lead further.
In the third, at 8:22, Derek Dorsett scored his first goal of the season and his first regular season goal as a Ranger.
Unfortunately, Hertl wasn't done scoring. The young forward would score two more in the third, including a power play tally less than a minute after Dorsett's goal. Justin Braun would score one more for the Sharks before the game ended.
Braun's second of the year was also a power play goal. San Jose ended the night one goal shy of their franchise record for goals in a game. The Sharks outshot the Rangers 47-20 for the game, including a 23-8 shot advantage in the second period.
Sharks netminder Antti Niemi stopped 18 shots in the win and also picked up an assist on Hertl's fourth goal of the game.
Meanwhile, Biron, who relieved Lundqvist in the second period, stopped 16 of the 21 shots he faced.
There is still no word on Nash's condition, but he spoke to reporters after the game about the hit.
The Rangers next game will be in Anaheim against the Ducks on Thursday night.