The New York Rangers continue to win big games. It's been a trademark this season, and one that has helped the Rangers earn one of the best records in the NHL.
This time it was the Nashville Predators, who were one of the hottest teams in the league walking into Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. But the Rangers handled them for most of the game and earned a 3-0 victory for the team's 29th victory of the season.
There are positives, as always, to take from the win. There are also some negatives.
The positives are the defense and goaltending, which seems to be another theme this year despite the injuries. Henrik Lundqvist earned his 4th shutout of the year with a 27-save performance and Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto and Ryan McDonagh all played more than 23 minutes in the win.
Join me after the jump for more.
Marc Staal played nearly 18 minutes, which was a huge step up for him as he continues his development. It's a great thing for the team that Staal is starting to see some bigger minutes, and he's obviously progressing just like the Rangers want his to.
He's obviously earned John Tortorella's trust, and is starting to play a bigger and bigger role in the Rangers' wins with him back. Once Staal gets back to full strength the Rangers will be able to roll four defenseman who can play upwards of 25 minutes a night; although the plan would be to hopefully limit players to less than 25 minutes a night.
Offensively, the Rangers got the job done, despite only scoring one goal the game before in the loss to the Montreal Canadiens.
The power play was quiet again, going 0-for-2 in the win, although it obviously wasn't the biggest sample size. The Rangers will want to do better as time goes on, and it's definitely something they need to improve on.
Tonight will be another chance to do that. The Penguins are another tough team, but the Rangers haven't shown an issue with that before.