The New York Rangers weren't able to get the job done this afternoon against the Nashville Predators, but there are plenty of positives to take away. Despite a slight collapse late in the second period, the Rangers actually controlled a majority of the play throughout the game, but the Rangers couldn't find a way to get more than two past Pekka Rinne. Cam Talbot also had a big game for the Rangers, and didn't really stand much of a chance on all three of the Predators goals.
The was a ton of back and forth action early on in this game, and continued all throughout the first period, but the game remained scoreless. Both Pekka Rinne, and Cam Talbot came out strong in this one, and came up with a few key saves to keep this one scoreless heading into the first intermission. After trading chances in the first period, the Rangers had a huge opportunity to cash in as they went to work on their second power play of the afternoon.
Just as the power play was closing in on the final 40 seconds, Rick Nash cashed in with his 33rd goal of the season, and gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead. For whatever reason, the Predators left Nash all alone in front for at least 30 seconds which allowed Derick Brassard to hit him with a nifty saucer pass. After being denied on his first attempt, Nash turned around and knocked in his own rebound to slip the puck by Pekka Rinne.
Following Nash's goal, the Rangers fell into a bit of a hole, and the Predators came roaring back with a handful of chances. Even though the Rangers were able to escape a majority of the chances unscathed, the final two minutes of the period came crawling back to bite the Rangers. First it was Roman Josi, who bombed a shot through traffic after a scramble in front, which brought the Predators back even at 1-1.
Then 40 seconds later, it was Shea Weber who got on the board with a slap shot of his own, and beat Talbot just about the pad to make it 2-1. The Rangers essentially let the Predators have their way in the offensive zone, and they were able to make the most of their opportunities to secure the lead heading into the second intermission.
You could tell there was some obvious frustration on the Rangers part, and they turned that into motivation at the start of the third period. Right from the puck drop, the Rangers went to work in the offensive zone, and at the 1:37 mark, they were rewarded with the tying goal. Ryan McDonagh deserves all of the praise on this goal, as he not only crossed up Eric Nystrom at the blue line, but also found a way to get his shot through a slew of bodies in front of the net.
Pekka Rinne wasn't able to track the puck with everyone posted up in front of him, and the puck appeared to take a deflection off of his pads. It was a huge response from the Rangers after giving up two late goals in the second period, and they fed off of that in the third period. However, Pekka Rinne kept the Predators in the game with various key saves in the third period, and kept the game tied at 2-2.
A little over 10 minutes later, the Predators got their first break of the period, and Mike Ribeiro made it count with a booming slap shot through traffic. Dan Girardi went down in an attempt to block the shot, but wound up screening Talbot in the process, and he never caught a glimpse of the shot. With the way the Rangers were carrying the play, it was certainly a deflating goal late in the game, and put the Rangers in a tough spot.
Despite some chances with the goalie pulled, the Rangers weren't able to muster up the tying goal, and fell 3-2 to a very good Nashville Predators team. The Rangers will have a quick turnaround after this loss, as they go right back at it tomorrow night against the Dallas Stars.