New York Rangers historic first period powers 7-0 win over Preds

NHL: Nashville Predators at New York Rangers
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

It was stress-free hockey for the New York Rangers and their fans at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

With a six goal first period, the Blueshirts picked apart the Nashville Predators to an an eventual 7-0 victory. The offensive outburst was pretty historic as the team and defenseman K’Andre Miller recorded some franchise firsts.

  • K’Andre Miller first NYR defenseman to post four points in a period (2G, 2A)
  • Franchise record of five goals in the first 10:01 of a game
  • First team this season to register 15 straight goals (and counting)
  • Sixth team in NHL history to register consecutive shutouts scoring at least 6 goals

“It just felt like everything I touched was somehow finding the back of the net at the end of the play,” Miller explained. “I wish every game was like that. It’s fun and it was a fun first period. Fun game.”

New York Rangers blow away Preds

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers offense must have seemed like a runaway train to the Predators on Sunday night.

After getting the better of the chances in the first few minutes of the game, but stoned away by Jaroslav Halak, Nashville simply could not find an answer to contain their opponent.

Starting with a beautiful defense splitting goal by Filip Chytil for his 20th of the season at the 2:37 mark, the Rangers were off to the races.

Goals by Mika Zibanejad, Tyler Motte, and K’Andre Miller chased Kevin Lankinen from the net. He finished the game with just one save on five shots.

Last year’s Vezina finalist Juuse Saros faired no better giving up two on six shots in the opening stanza. Goals by Artemi Panarin and Miller iced an incredible first period.

From there, the Rangers played it smart and actually backed off their helpless opponent to focus on defense.

A Chris Kreider rebound goal in the second period would cap the scoring for the Rangers.

As the Rangers played a near perfect game with minimal turnovers, they helped Halak to his first shutout of the season. The 37 year-old veteran made 22 stops in total.

“We want to finish strong and it’s good to see the guys building chemistry before the playoffs,” Halak said. “It was teamwork for 60 minutes.”

New York is now 41-19-10 for 92 points on the season and remain 5 points behind the New Jersey Devils for second-place in the Metro. The Devils roared back for a comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning yesterday.

“It’s not easy those games,” Gerard Gallant smiled. “6-0 and you want to keep doing the right things. You don’t want to embarrass people and I thought our guys did an excellent job. They played the game the right way. I’m proud of those guys.”

The Rangers will now take on the first-place Carolina Hurricanes for two straight games. They are six points behind them in the standing with the Canes holding two games in hand.

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