So this losing thing... it ain't fun, guys.
The Predators really had no answers all night. They were unable to establish quality possession pretty much anywhere on the ice and made horrible mental mistakes that led directly to Ranger goals. Marc Staal, Chris Kreider, Dominic Moore, and Rick Nash all scored for the Rangers. The Predators lone goal came from Matt Cullen.
If the Predators have only recently been on your radar, you probably haven't been too impressed, with five losses in their last seven games. I feel like I should tell you to take your finger off the panic button, but... well, the Preds aren't playing well right now. We have ourselves a bona fide slump, boys and girls.
- Rangers score first on a crazy broken play. The Preds had some good possession going in the offensive zone, then Smith and Fisher collided near the blue line, leaving the puck free. Rangers go the other way with it on essentially a 4-on-2 (Forsberg got checked from behind trying to backcheck, no call) and Staal wrists one high glove side past Rinne.
- It's only 1-0, but the Rangers look faster, smarter, and stronger right now. Predators cannot sustain anything in the neutral and offensive zones. The effort is there, but everything else--passing, shooting, checking, positioning--just isn't.
- A huge stop by Pekka Rinne on Rick Nash is the only positive for the Preds through the first 20 minutes. It was a huge moment, as Nash broke in untouched from the center dot, but Rinne made a strong pad save to keep the game at 1-0.
- Rinne gets saved by the post early in the 2nd period. He was beaten. Thank you, pipes.
- Chris Kreider sneaks in the backdoor and deflects one high by Rinne. 2-0 Rangers. The snowball has officially been pushed off the edge of the slope.
- Seth Jones takes a wicked shot to the teeth, goes to the bench for some quick dental work, and then comes out for his next shift blocks a shot. Pretty impressive. I think that's what makes this game even more frustrating... the effort is definitely there, but absolutely nothing is going right.
- Halfway through the game, the Preds have 7 shots.
- What's this?? A goal! Cullen gets the Preds on the board, but holy heck, Taylor Beck. That was an absolutely beautiful play. On his knees in front of the Rangers goal, he backhands a pass to Cullen who scores. Not only was that a much needed goal and a highlight reel worthy assist to go with it, but the Beck-Santorelli-Cullen line just logged the best shift of any forward line in the last 2 games.
- Forsberg with another beautiful non-goal. Big left pad save by Talbot after Forsberg danced around the defense with the puck. If he had scored that goal, I would have way more holes in my wall and way less working remotes.
- Oh look, the Rangers scored. A seemingly impossible one-goal deficit becomes even more seemingly impossible.
- Here's a pretty humbling review of the goalies who have frustrated us in recent games: Rob Zepp, Michal Neuvirth, Devan Dubnyk, Jonas Gustavsson, and Cam Talbot.
- Extra attacker on the ice with almost 4 minutes left in the game. Because we have done so well maintaining possession in the offensive zone all game. :(
- The Rangers net an empty goal, because who didn't see that coming. Rangers will take this one easily.
OTF's Super Duper Stars of the Game
- Taylor Beck: that pass was seriously incredible... in a game that I would really just like to forget, that pass will stick with me.
- Seth Jones: guy has been figuratively knocked in the teeth in recent games, then gets literally knocked in the teeth tonight. While the Preds didn't have it tonight. you can't fault the effort of guys like Seth.
- Pekka Rinne: 36 saves, but obviously we needed more. Defense didn't do him many favors.
Tweets Of The Night
put rinne on the 3rd pairing— TV's Trevor Bort (@trevor_0) March 3, 2015
Preds take the lead Take it from the Rags Cause I can't see you lose So give me more goals Preds take the leaddd pic.twitter.com/fxGSOUkilQ— SmashvilleProud (@SmashvilleProud) March 3, 2015
Roll the video highlights...