Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Long defensive shifts burn Nashville in loss to Rangers



The New York Rangers dominated the Nashville Predators in every aspect of the game on Tuesday night as they got the 3-0 shutout victory. Nashville was without Ryan Suter in this game on defense, and Anders Lindback got the start in net. However, it was the offense that was non-existent.

New York got a bit of a fluky goal in the first period when Dan Girardi fired a puck toward Lindback that deflected in off of Nashville defenseman Jack Hillen. Hillen and Ryan Ellis had been stuck on the ice for 2:10. They were exhausted toward the end of the shift, and the Rangers were able to capitalize.

In the second period, the Rangers took a 2-0 lead when John Mitchell wristed one high to the glove side of Lindback for the goal. Roman Josi had been on the ice for a long time as well, and ended up screening Lindback on the goal by Mitchell.

Nashville put on a bit of an offensive push in the third period, but Henrik Lundqvist was there to slam the door for the Rangers. Lundqvist stopped all 27 shots that he faced on the night. Ryan Callahan got credit for a goal after he was hooked by Martin Erat on a breakaway while Nashville's net was empty. Nashville's five-game winning streak was snapped.

Over the past few weeks, the Predators had been winning games by scoring timely goals on the power play and playing strong defensively. They weren't effective in either aspect of the game against the Rangers. The absence of Suter was very noticeable, but Lindback played a strong game in goal. He stopped 26 out of 28 New York shots, and made several point blank saves to keep the Predators in the game.

Nashville will head to Columbus to take on a Western Conference opponent in the Blue Jackets. It will be the final trip to Columbus on the season for the Predators.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Henrik Lundqvist(NYR)
2. Brandon Dubinsky(NYR)
3. Dan Girardi(NYR)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Henrik Lundqvist(NYR)
2. Dan Girardi(NYR)
3. Brandon Prust(NYR)

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