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Pregame: Rangers Host the Nashville Predators

The Rangers are looking to keep the offense rolling against the stalwart defense of the Nashville Predators.

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

For Predators Coverage: On the Forecheck

"There are plenty of guys that could step up and right the ship, but one guy in particular is Filip Forsberg. I can't even remember the last time he scored a goal. I lied, it's been 15 games since he scored. 15!!! That is a long streak for a guy who was such a breakout scorer last year.

It doesn't all fall on him though. It starts with getting the right game plan together by the coaches. It also starts with getting back to playing solid defense to keep them in the game late. It needs to be an all around effort to make certain they don't extend this streak of being shutout tonight."

From On the Forecheck's Preview

The Nashville Predators are a very impressive11-5-3 this season but they haven't scored a goal in their last 153:47... which is a very long time to go without scoring a goal. The Rangers are coming off of a wacky 5-4 overtime victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night that was won on Rick Nash's power play goal in sudden death that also happened to be the goal that completed his hat trick. These are both very good hockey teams who are playing a little out of character recently so I honestly have no idea what tonight's game will look like, but the safe money is probably on a goaltending duel between Hank and Rinne.

There might not be a better blue line in hockey than the six players that the Nashville Predators put in front of Pekka Rinne- who is easily one of the top five goaltenders in the league. However, Rinne has allowed seven goals in his last two starts for the Preds in their recent losses to the Blue Jackets and the Wild.

As Anish Patel pointed out in the preview over at On the Forecheck the lack of goal-scoring from the Predators, which always seems to be an issue with them, is epitomized by the struggles of excellent young player Filip Forsberg who plays on their top line with Mike Ribeiro and James Neal. Neal is leading Nashville with nine goals this season and is followed by Shea Weber who has six goals, five of which have been scored on the power play. The Rangers made the mistake of feeding Florida power plays on Saturday, hopefully they won't make the mistake of giving Weber time and space on the man advantage tonight.

Roman Josi of the Predators is second on the team in points (behind only James Neal) with 13 from their blue line. Josi, who is a stud in his own zone, has just as many points this season as Rick Nash does for the Rangers. If you want to see what a severely underrated hockey player looks like, keep an eye on Josi tonight. He's something special.

Kevin Hayes is apparently moving up to right wing on the second line which bumps J.T. Miller down to the third line. Hayes finished Saturday's game in the Rangers' top six and it will be interesting to see what he does for Chris Kreider's game, if anything.

Pekka Rinne is getting the start for Nashville and Henrik Lundqvist is between the pipes for the Blueshirts tonight at the Garden.

The Predators, like the Rangers, have no injuries to speak of headed into tonight's game.

The puck drops at 7:05.

Thanks for reading, let's go Rangers.