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HockeyLady

Rangers at Sharks preview

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The Game

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will center the top line in place of

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when the San Jose Sharks face the New York Rangers at SAP Center on Thursday.

Thornton, who injured his right knee against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, is expected to miss at least two weeks.

Pavelski will move from right wing, and

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will move from the third to the first line at right wing. Forward

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will return to the lineup after missing two games with the flu.

Backup goaltender

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will start for the Rangers, who have lost three straight, and have been outscored 13-6 to begin a four-game road trip. Pavelec will make his first start since Jan. 13 (7-2 loss to the New York Islanders). He replaced

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, who was pulled after allowing three goals on seven shots, in the first period of a 6-3 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday.

 

Players to watch

Rangers forward

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has scored two goals in three of his past five games.

Sharks backup goaltender

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has gone 4-0-1 with 12 goals allowed in his past five starts.

 

They said it

"You don't just fill in for somebody like that, but you can get it done as a line and you can work and compete. It doesn't change what we're trying to do, but you definitely lose just such a high-end caliber player." -- Sharks forward

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on playing without

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"Every point is huge. We need a win. That's all that matters right now. We lost three in a row." -- Rangers goaltender Ondrej Pavelec

 

Rangers projected lineup

Rick Nash --

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Ondrej Pavelec

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched:

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Injured:

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(leg contusion),

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(rib surgery),

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(knee surgery)

 

Sharks projected lineup

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-- Joe Pavelski -- Mikkel Boedker

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--

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Joonas Donskoi --

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-- Marcus Sorensen

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--

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--

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Aaron Dell

Troy Grosenick

Scratched:

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,

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Injured: Joe Thornton (knee),

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(lower body)

 

Status report

Hayes skated and will be a game-time decision. ... The Rangers claimed forward

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off waivers from the Nashville Predators on Thursday and sent forward

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to Hartford of the American Hockey League. ... Jones practiced again but will miss his fourth straight game. He's expected to return after the all-star break.

 

Stat pack

Burns has six assists during a five-game point streak. ... Desharnais is expected to play his 500th career NHL game.

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