There has been absolutely no home-ice advantage for the San Jose Sharks.
San Jose will try again to become the final NHL team to win at home when the New York Rangers make their only visit of the season to HP Pavilion.
San Jose is winless in eight home games this season (0-3-4-1) after tying Toronto 2-2 on Saturday.
Patrick Marleau and Nils Ekman scored early in the third period as the Sharks rallied for the tie, their league-leading seventh of the season. San Jose has won just one of its last seven games (1-1-3-2).
“Do you know that movie, ‘Groundhog Day?’ I feel like Bill Murray,” Sharks coach Ron Wilson said. “Every darn game is a tie. We’re in the same boat every day. We need to bury one, but we’re showing some poise by not giving up.”
Backup Vesa Toskala stopped 16 of 18 shots in a rare start, meaning Evgeni Nabokov will likely be in goal against New York. Nabokov, 1-3-1 in his last five starts, has allowed four goals in each of his last two appearances.
Marleau has started to produce for the Sharks after a slow start. The seven-year veteran has three goals and three assists during a five-game point streak.
After starting a four-game trip with a 5-0 loss to New Jersey, the Rangers played much better Sunday in a 2-2 tie against Chicago.
Goalie Mike Dunham has been the Rangers’ best player this season, but Messier has been their best forward. Messier, who turns 43 in January, leads the team with eight goals and is tied for the team lead with 10 points.
“He’s played very well,” Rangers coach and general manager Glen Sather said. “He’s played back-to-back games like a 20-year-old.”
Dunham, bothered by a sore groin earlier this season, made 39 saves Sunday, his second start in as many nights. The last time he played on consecutive days, Nov. 1-2, he ended up missing the next two games with the injury.
“It’s going to be tender for sure,” Dunham said following Sunday’s tie.
If Dunham is unable to play, Jussi Markkanen will make his fourth start of the season.