New York Rangers big third period push denied by Saros and Predators

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Dec 12, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) looks for the puck while Nashville Predators defenseman Mattias Ekholm (14) and goalie Juuse Saros (74) defend during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers and Nashville Predators came into MSG set for battle and that’s exactly what took place. In a hard fought game where every inch of ice was contested, it was Preds goalie Juuse Saros that was the difference.

The Blueshirts would put on a serious push in the third period but could not breakthrough on Nashville’s goalie.

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Recap: Predators 1 vs Rangers 0

Nashville came out with one thought on their mind and that was to hit every player in a blue jersey. Time and time again, the Predators were on the hunt in all three zones. When the opening frame was complete, they out-hit the Rangers by a monstrous 20-8 advantage.

Alexandar Georgiev was strong in net to open the game stopping 13 shots. His counterpart, Juuse Saros only had to the deal with 6 shots. Something the Rangers recognized they needed to correct.

rangers predators
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

“We started kind of slow,” Julien Gauthier said in between periods. “They came out strong. We were expecting it but we weren’t fully ready for it. We got adjusted to it after and now we’re giving them a good game.”

The Rangers did indeed pick up their play both offensively and physically in the second period. Although they paced the Preds 10-6 in shots in the middle frame, it was Philip Tomasino scoring just 1:44 in that was the difference.

“It wasn’t our best start,” Jacob Trouba said. “It’s something we can improve on going forward.”

We didn’t win enough battles,” Chris Kreider said afterwards. “They were finishing all their checks and winning battles. It took us 20 minutes to figure it out – it just can’t happen.”

In the third period, the Rangers dominated play as they fired 16 shots on goal to the Predators 5. However, they would not be able to beat Saros on this night as they were shut out for only the second time this season.

“I didn’t like any of the game to be honest. We played too soft,” Gerard Gallant explained. “It was a man’s game and we didn’t play well. We just didn’t do enough.”

Notable Rangers

  • Alexandar Georgiev was solid making 23 saves on 24 shots
  • NYR outshot the Preds for the game 32-24
  • Ryan Strome led the team with 8 shots on goal
  • Adam Fox played a team high 26:16
  • Libor Hajek played 12:53 in his season debut
  • Chris Kreider played his 600th career game (all with the NYR)

Tomorrow (Monday, Dec. 13): No practice/travel day

Next Game: Tuesday, December 14 at Colorado Avalanche (9:00 p.m. ET – TV: ESPN+, HULU)

*Schedule subject to change

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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