Colin Wilson scored his 2nd goal of the season to lead the Nashville Predators to a 2-1 win over the New York Rangers tonight at Madison Square Garden. Dan Ellis turned aside 37 of 38 Rangers shots to earn his 12th victory of the season, and his first since January 15 against Calgary.
Check out the NHL widget on the right sidebar for video highlights (available 30 minutes or so after the game ended), and follow after the jump for the recap and advanced even-strength stats...
The Predators resume their home schedule after the Olympic break with 10 home games in the month of March. OtF readers can take advantage of this special offer on discounted Nashville Predators tickets.
Both goaltenders were impressive in this one; Henrik Lundqvist shut down several Predators' breakaways (and got rescued by the crossbar after Martin Erat beat him with a wrist shot), and Dan Ellis was equally effective at the other end. Much like last night on Long Island, penalties played a major role, but they weren't (mostly) the unnecessary ones that doomed them against the Sharks and Islanders recently. At least one (a trip on Erat) was a case of mistaken identity (two Rangers knocked skates and one fell, leading to the call on Erat) while others (like one on Steve Sullivan) came while trying to prevent dangerous scoring chances.
Jordin Tootoo had perhaps his best game of the season so far, firing shots on net constantly, and tipping home the initial shot of the game late in the 1st period. Kevin Klein slapped one from the point as several players clogged the shooting lane, with Tootoo making final contact before it went into the net.
Vinny Prospal tied it up for New York midway through the second, scoring on a 5-on-3 power play that resulted, in part, from the aforementioned phantom tripping call on Erat. That one was frustrating, because the Preds had multiple chances to clear the zone but failed to do so before the Prospal goal.
Colin Wilson, in his 2nd game back with the Predators, answered back a few minutes later on the power play, too. He picked up a loose puck in the slot and made a quick turn & fire, beating Lundqvist high to put Nashville up 2-1.
In the third period, the Preds got back on their heels and spent most of the time scrambling in their own end as the Rangers created multiple scoring chances. In the final seconds, as New York was already pressing with their goalie pulled, Joel Ward took a hooking call to give the Rangers a 6-on-4 advantage, but it wasn't long enough to pose any danger.
All in all, this goes in the books as a solid road win; it was hardly perfect, but considering that they played the night before, getting a lead and holding on for dear life in the 3rd is a pretty fair outcome. The guys will need to get their rest before suiting up again Friday at New Jersey.
Looking at the advanced even-strength stats, the defensive stalwarts up front, David Legwand and Joel Ward, had a tough night even though the Rangers skated without their leading scorer, Marian Gaborik. Back on the blueline, the much-maligned combo of Dan Hamhuis and Kevin Klein also fared pretty horribly.
The guys who did have a good night, however, really shone; Colin Wilson, Jordin Tootoo and Patric Hornqvist all helped drive the puck towards the New York net, and on defense, the pairing of Francis Bouillon and Alexander Sulzer enjoyed roughly 2-to-1 shooting advantages during their shifts.
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|
|J P Dumont||R||9:45||1||1||0||0||7||5||2||11||8||3|