The San Jose Sharks are on track to start the season at home for the first time since 2012-13, as the franchise celebrates its 100th anniversary.
After a disappointing second-round exit to the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, the Sharks have won their past seven games by a combined eight goals, but have failed to score in any of them.
They will get their chance to win the franchise’s first championship when they host the New York Rangers at SAP Center on Wednesday night.
“We want to win every game,” head coach Todd McLellan said.
“We know we have a good chance to do it.
We know our group is going to be in good shape and our guys are going to play.
It’s not about who is playing.
It is about who has the puck and who is the most efficient in terms of what they do.”
The Sharks will be without two key forwards, left wing Matt Nieto and defenseman Brent Burns, who were injured during the team’s 4-3 loss to the Blues on Friday.
Nieto is out for three to four weeks with a sprained right knee.
Burns was injured in the third period against the Blues and missed the next game.
San Jose’s lineup will be unchanged from Friday night, with the exception of a healthy scratch in the form of defenseman Nikita Kucherov.
The Sharks were without their top goal scorer and second-leading scorer, left winger Patrick Marleau, who will miss the remainder of the season.
Forward Kevin Labanc, who scored his first career hat trick in a 5-3 win over the Blues, is expected to return to the lineup.
“I’m excited to get back and I know I’m going to help the team,” Labanc said.
Marleau scored the only goal in a 4-2 win over San Jose on Thursday.
The two-time All-Star has missed four games because of a concussion.
“He was out there playing, and we’re going to have to keep him out of it,” McLellam said.
McLellan also said forward Kevin Laban has “a great chance” to return in the lineup against the Rangers.
“If he plays, I think he’s going to make a big difference,” McLellenan said of the Sharks No. 3 overall pick.
“He’s going be in great shape.
He’s a good player.
We’re going see how he feels after the first game, how he reacts.
But we expect him to be out there and we expect our team to be a lot better.”
The NHL All-Rookie team is comprised of the top 15 rookies and 20 defensemen from the previous season.