(SportsNetwork.com) - The sizzling New York Rangers will try to continue their ascent up the Metropolitan Division standings when they complete a three-game road trip with Saturday's meeting against the San Jose Sharks.
New York has been on a magnificent run since the early part of December and enters tonight's game at the Shark Tank with a 12-1-0 record over its last 13 games.
The surge has helped the Rangers, who are currently on a four-game winning streak, move into third place in the division, where it is tied with Washington at 50 points. New York holds the tiebreaker over the Capitals due to having played two less games. Washington plays tonight at home against Detroit.
The Blueshirts also find themselves just four points behind the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins and five in back of the Metro-leading New York Islanders. The Rangers will get a shot at the Islanders on Tuesday when they host the rival New York club at Madison Square Garden.
New York is 2-0 so far on this road trip and was able to exact a small measure of revenge Thursday in a Stanley Cup Finals rematch against the Los Angeles Kings. The Rangers lost in five games to Los Angeles for the Cup last spring, but recorded a 4-3 regulation win in the first encounter between the clubs in 2014-15.
The Blueshirts beat the Kings behind a 28-save performance from backup goaltender Cam Talbot. L.A. led New York 2-0 after a pair of first-period goals, but New York scored four straight to claim control.
"You never want to start a game like that, but it's a credit to the guys," said Talbot. "They showed a lot of character in coming back."
Dan Boyle, Kevin Klein, Lee Stempniak and Martin St. Louis lit the lamp for New York, while Derick Brassard notched a pair of assists. Boyle also added an assist for New York, which scored twice on four power-play chances to help push their road record this season to 10-6-1.
No. 1 netminder Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be back between the pipes for the Rangers tonight. He is 3-3-0 with a 2.21 goals against average in seven career games against the Sharks.
San Jose enters tonight with three wins over their past five games, but the two losses in that span were troubling to say the least.
The Sharks, who are tied with Vancouver for second place in the Pacific Division, followed a 3-0 win in Anaheim on Dec. 31 with last Saturday's 7-2 loss against visiting St. Louis. San Jose then won its next two games before dropping another 7-2 decision to the Blues on Thursday night in St. Louis.
Logan Couture and Melker Karlsson scored on Thursday for the Sharks, who are 3-4-1 over their last eight contests.
Antti Niemi was pulled after giving up five goals on 21 shots in 33-plus minutes. Alex Stalock finished up and yielded the other two St. Louis scores.
"For us, the two games against St. Louis give us an indication of where we are as a club," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan.
The Sharks played without Joe Thornton for a fourth straight game on Thursday. The star centerman has been sidelined with a shoulder injury, but he could return to action tonight.
Thornton, who played in 319 consecutive games before getting hurt on New Year's Eve against Anaheim, has nine goals and a team-high 24 assists in 38 games this season.
Tonight begins a home-heavy part of the schedule for San Jose, which will play eight of its next nine games at the Shark Tank. McLellan's club is 10-6-2 at home this season.
The Rangers have won three of the past five meetings in the series with the Sharks, but the Blueshirts were blown out 9-2 when they last visited San Jose on Oct. 8, 2013.