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Prediction: San Jose Sharks vs New York Rangers (10/31/11)

It’s true the Sharks are rather comfortable, and quite productive on the road, and a visit to renovated Madison Square Garden and the sputtering New York Rangers may keep it that way.

Enjoying their longest road winning streak in two seasons, the Sharks try to complete an unbeaten six-game trip road trip when they face the Rangers on Monday night.

Joe Pavelski’s seven goals and 11 points lead the Sharks.

Meanwhile, Logan Couture appears to be re establishing himself as one of the top young players in the NHL after his 32 goals and 56 points earned him a 2010-11 Calder Trophy nomination.

The left wing, has three goals and two assists in his last five contests after managing only one point in his previous four.

Antti Niemi is back in net for the Sharks after being rested Saturday in favor of backup Thomas Greiss, who had 35 saves to improve to 2-2-0 with a 2.26 goals-against average.

Niemi has won all four of his starts on the current road trip while posting a 1.96 GAA in those contests.

The Sharks, who fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Rangers (3-3-3) at home March 12, are visiting MSG for the first time since a 7-3 victory Oct. 19, 2009.

New York is still seeking its first home win after opening the season with a seven game road trip (3-2-2) that spanned three countries and 10 time zones due to renovations at the Garden.

The Rangers seemed headed for their first home victory Saturday, but blew a three goal, third-period lead over Ottawa before falling 5-4 in a shootout.

And with Martin Biron in net tonight, it may be a good change of scenery for the struggling Rangers.

Over seven career appearances against the Sharks, Biron holds a 2-3-1 record with a 2.14 GAA and .919 SV%.

Brad Richards is looking to build on his best performance since joining the Rangers as a free agent from Dallas last summer. The center had two goals and one assist against the Senators after finding the net once in the first eight games of the season.

Richards had one goal and three assists in five meetings with San Jose in 2010-11.

Right wing Marian Gaborik is tied with Richards with a team high eight points, and leads the Rangers with five goals. Gaborik had one goal and two assists in Saturday’s loss.

STARTING GOALIES:

San Jose Sharks – Antti Niemi

NY Rangers – Martin Biron

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