New York Rangers ride red-hot Shesterkin to win against Predators; Lafrenière nets winner

The New York Rangers came into Nashville looking to pick up their third straight win and they followed a similar formula executed in Montreal. Shesterkin saves + Lafrenière goal = NYR victory.

It was a physical contest with both teams getting into it throughout. The Predators did a solid job shutting down the top line, but it was the second line that did the damage for the road win.

Recap: Rangers 3 vs Predators 1

The Predators came out strong to start, hitting the post on their first shot. However, it was the Rangers that would open the scoring thanks to a streaking Filip Chytil who used his deceptive back hand to beat Juuse Saros for a 1-0 lead. Sammy Blais picked up his first point as a Blueshirt with an assist. Alexis Lafrenière gathered the other helper just 2:12 into the game.

Igor Shesterkin continued his hot play from Toronto as Nashville’s response was to take shots from anywhere. Blais would take a cross checking penalty 6:24, where Igor would make two big stops to keep the Preds off the board. He finished the period with 12 saves.

Late in the first, Mattias Ekholm went off for slashing giving the Rangers their first power play with 53 seconds left. Both Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad were thwarted by Saros leaving 1:07 of PP time to start the second stanza.

The Rangers squandered several power play opportunities to start the second, including a long 5 on 3 due to Matt Benning delivering a vicious elbow to the face of Blais. Unfortunately, the Rangers were not sharp with some passes and when they did connect Saros stood tall.

Nashville built momentum off the kills and that’s when rookie PhilipTomasino followed up on a shot, and banked one in off Shesterkin from behind the net to tie the game at 7:01.

rangers predators score
Oct 21, 2021; Nashville, Tennessee, USA; Nashville Predators defenseman Matt Benning (5) is hit by New York Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The game starting getting nasty with both sides getting in each other’s faces. New York would get their 4th PP opportunity at 13:53 and despite some good puck movement and hitting a post they failed to score again. It goes without say that Gerard Gallant needs to make some changes to get the man advantage going. On the flip side, the Rangers killed a late Preds PP to keep the game even.

“Gritty, gritty effort tonight,” Gerard Gallant said afterwards. “For me tonight was the toughest game we played so far this season. I thought it was a gritty game and we came out on top.”

The third period saw both teams tighten up defensively as shots were coming at a premium. Ryan Lindgren thought he gave the Blueshirts the lead but an offside challenge called it back. Then with 9:07 left in the period, Fox sent a great pass to Blais, who made an even better one to Lafrenière. There would be no challenge here as Laffy buried it into a gaping net to make it 2-1.

“I knew he saw me but to make sure I called for it,” Lafrenière said with a big smile. “Nice play. I went to the net with my stick on the ice and good things happen. It was a nice play for sure.”

Nashville would push hard for the equalizer and pulled Saros early, The Rangers met that push with a high compete level and tight zone coverage. Barclay Goodrow, who struggled earlier in the game was a force in the final minutes and scored the empty net goal to seal it.

Notable Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin was stellar again making 28 saves to improve to 3-0-1
  • Alexis Lafreniére played an excellent game with a 1G and 1A, reaching 3 points in 5 games
  • Sammy Blais notched his first point as a NYR, finishing with 2A
  • Barclay Goodrow scored his first goal as a Blueshirt
  • NYR PP was 0-4
  • NYR PK was 3-3

Tomorrow (Friday, Oct. 22): Practice at Canadian Tire Centre (1:00 p.m. ET)

Next Game: Saturday, Oct. 23 at Ottawa Senators (1:00 p.m. ET – TV: MSG)

*Schedule subject to change

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