Nashville Predators 5, New York Rangers 2: Saros and Defense Secure Victory in NYC

Four of tonight’s five goals were scored by defenders. Also, Juuse Saros is good at stopping pucks.

The Predators looked like a different team at puck drop tonight at Madison Square Garden. Gold-clad players could be found actually taking shots from the slot and making smart, controlled passes. Nashville found the first goal with around 9 minutes left in the first period after a puck from Rocco Grimaldi leaked through Rangers goalie Alexandar Georgiev.

Chris Kreider tied the game for the Rangers shortly thereafter on a 2-on-0 breakaway. The Rangers were unsuccessful on their first power play attempt with Kyle Turris in the box for slashing.

The Predators began the second period on the power play, but only mustered one shot on net with the extra man. It appeared that the Rangers put another puck past Saros, but a closer review showed the puck never crossed the goal line. After a big penalty kill, Roman Josi lasered a shot past Georgiev for Nashville’s second goal of the evening.

After exiting the penalty box, Mattias Ekholm added an insurance goal for the Preds with just over 4 minutes remaining in the second period. With 7:22 left in the third period, Duchene was once again sent to the penalty box. The Rangers couldn’t find a goal on the power play, but with Georgiev on the bench, Artemi Panarin pulled the Rangers within one.

The Rangers pulled Georgiev to try to tie the game, but Roman Josi sent the puck 200 feet into the empty net to seal the game for the Preds. Ryan Ellis added another empty-netter to ice the cake.

Random Observations

  • The Trenin-Blackwell-Watson line is doing some work early in the game.
  • Juuse Saros is quite solid early.
  • Matt Duchene has gone down the tunnel.
  • Duchene is back for the beginning of the second period.
  • That puck didn’t cross the line.
  • I forgot Greg McKegg is a real hockey player.
  • Three straight icings.
  • “That’s what you get for putting me in the box!” -Mattias Ekholm, probably
  • So much sass from #14.
  • Colin Blackwell is salty.
  • Dante Fabbro is also salty.
  • Turtle.
  • RoboCop Yakov Trenin.
  • Roman Josi! Empty netter.
  • Ryan Ellis. Empty netter!!!!!
  • Head boops for Juuse!/

Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Juuse Saros: 41 saves for our younger Finnish netminder. A big confidence win for Little Bear.
  2. Roman Josi: The captain is quite tired of your nonsense.
  3. Mattias Ekholm: #14 scored the saltiest goal of all time tonight.

Tweets of the Game

Game Video