Predators Pounce On Rangers; Defeating Blueshirts 5-2

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Here is our recap of the Rangers 5-2 loss to the Predators.

Power Play – The only bright spot for the Rangers in this game was their man-advantage unit, that scored twice to bring the Rangers within a goal each time. First, JT Miller redirected a Mats Zuccarello pass past Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne.

Then with the Rangers trailing 3-1, Mika Zibanejad one-timed a Ryan McDonagh pass that beat Rinne to the far post, cutting the deficit to 3-2.

Shifts After Scoring – Just when you thought the Rangers would gain momentum and get their forecheck going, they gave up a goal to Nashville that sucked the life right out of the team. After Miller’s goal, Brendan Smith, and Miller were both unable to clear the puck, allowing PK Subban to unleash a slapshot that was deflected by Colton Sissons with nobody defending the goal scorer. Then, just sixteen seconds after the Zibanejad goal to cut the deficit to 3-2, Holden and Hayes both overskate the puck and lose a puck battle to Ryan Johansen. Johansen leaves the puck for Viktor Arvidsson who beats Lundqvist with a shot that he probably should have stopped. The Rangers not being able to capitalize on the little momentum they were able to generate in this game is a symbol of how this season has gone; one step forward, two steps back. If there is any chance, though it seems unlikely, if the Rangers are going to make the playoffs, they will need to be able to build on the momentum they gain from scoring goals.

Officiating – The Rangers were down to sixteen players for most of the game after two questionable, and uncalled, hits that sent Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal to the locker room. Staal was crunched into the boards by Alexei Emelin. Staal was leaning forward to reach for the puck, but there is no reason why there was no call on the play from the referees.

On the Vesey hit, Filip Forsberg delivered an elbow to the head of Jimmy Vesey. Vesey was bloodied on the play and would not finish the game, being sent to the locker room by the concussion spotters.

The Rangers are now without five players from their opening night roster: Shattenkirk, Kreider, Buchneivch, Staal, and Vesey. The Rangers didn’t have much to say in the postgame in regards to the lack of calls, with the sentiment being that they can’t allow those plays to take the team away from their gameplan.

Next Game: The Rangers will look to get back on track on Monday when they face the Stars in Dallas. Puck drops at 830!


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