Rangers fine tune lines in Music City to take down Predators 4-3

NHL: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers traveled to Nashville to take on the Predators and were able to make yet another comeback for a 4-3 win.

Vincent Trocheck had a three-point night while two Blueshirt defensemen registered goals, with both Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren hitting the twine. Adam Fox (3 assists) and Jonny Brodzinski (2 assists) had solid games as well. Igor Shesterkin kept the Rangers in this one, making 36 saves on 39 shots.

Special teams played a large role in tonight’s contest. New York went 1 for 2 on the power play and killed 3 out of 4 penalties.

“Definitely not a great start for us and Shesty kept us in it,” Lindgren said after scoring the game-winner. “It seems like we were able to reset and start playing our game.”

Related: Rangers impressive so far this season

New York Rangers 4 vs Nashville Predators 3

NHL: New York Rangers at Nashville Predators
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The first frame was dominated by Nashville. Despite surrendering two goals in the frame, Igor Shesterkin made several big stops. He was the Rangers’ lone bright spot in the period.

Early on in the frame, the Rangers were very sloppy in the defensive zone and Shesterkin could only bail them out for so long. After a lucky bounce off the official, Ryan O’Reilly found the back of the net to put Nashville up 1-0.

After another flurry of saves from Shesterkin, Barclay Goodrow took a tripping penalty which would give Nashville the first man advantage of the night. The Rangers held strong for the first half of the kill, including another huge stop from Shesterkin off of a redirection. Unfortunately, the Rangers penalty kill could not hold on for the full two minutes. Roman Josi walked in a fired one past Shesterkin to give the Predators a 2-0 lead.

The Rangers head into the locker room after being heavily outplayed. They were out shot 17-8 in the frame as it began to look eerily similar to the last time these two teams played one another.

Peter Laviolette looked to ignite a spark in his team by switching up the lines to start the second period. Right away, the line of Chris Kreider, Vincent Trocheck, and Jonny Brodzinski was able to generate some offense. Trocheck found Jacob Trouba from behind the net as the Rangers captain netted his second goal of the season.

“Guys understood where we are at after that first period,” Trouba said of Laviolette’s message during the intermission. “We weren’t at our best and (Laviolette) left it on us if we wanted to play or not tonight and we responded well.”

The momentum seemed to be turning in favor of the Rangers as they earned themselves a power play opportunity. New York, however, would allow a breakaway and, with that, allow Nashville to score a short handed goal by Colton Sissons, making the score 3-1.

Just as that power play expired, the Rangers were able to score a goal of their own. Chris Kreider was able to bat a puck out of mid air and cut Nashville’s lead to one.

The Rangers were instantly put back on the power play as Nick Bonino drew a boarding minor. 19 seconds after the previous tally, Vincent Trocheck was able to deflect a shot from Mika Zibanejad, tying the game at 3-3. The different line combinations seemed to work as the Rangers looked much better in the middle frame.

After a successful penalty kill early in the final stanza, the Rangers found their first lead of the night. Ryan Lindgren fired a pass through the slot which redirected off of a Nashville skate and in, giving the Rangers a 4-3 lead. It is Lindgren’s first goal of the season.

The Rangers dominated play for the next ten minutes. Their forecheck was as good as it had been all night. They controlled play and were able to keep the puck in Nashville’s end for the majority of the third. Along with more solid play from Shesterkin, the Blueshirts were able to hold on to their lead.

New York stood strong coming down the stretch. In the final minute of the period, Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers denied several scoring chances in order to secure the win. It was a hard-working victory for New York, who remain atop the league standings.

“You’re down 2-0 in a game and it’s always hard to climb out of a hole on the road,” Laviolette remarked. “I thought our guys did a good job crawling out of that game and gutting one out.”

Rangers Notes

  • Igor Shesterkin stopped 36 out of 39 shots
  • Vincent Trocheck had himself a 3-point night (1G-2A)
  • Adam Fox had 3 assists in the contest
  • Jonny Brodzinski registered 2 assists, a single game career high
  • Mika Zibanejad extended his point streak to 6 games
  • Tyler Pitlick played in his 400th game

The Rangers are back in action tomorrow night as they take on the San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is scheduled for 6:00 PM ET at Madison Square Garden.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh