The Rangers won their second straight road game tonight thanks to a 2-1 shootout victory over the P.K. Subban-less Nashville Predators.
Rick Nash scored his second goal in two games when he sniped a puck over youngster Juuse Saros’ shoulder eight minutes into the first period. It was Nash’s 13th goal of the season. Kevin Hayes picked up the primary assist and Nick Holden picked up the secondary assist.
Rick Nash with the short-side sniiiiiiipe pic.twitter.com/n99cIfdo9r— Blinngle Bells (@NHLBlinn) December 18, 2016
Nash is now tied with Grabner for the team lead in goals.
Holden now has as many points this season (15) as Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Morgan Reilly and John Klingberg.
Hayes’ assist was his 18th primary point in 33 games this season. Last year he finished with 28 primary points.
Halfway through the second period a miscue on a pass from Ryan McDonagh to J.T. Miller led to the Predator’s only goal of the game. Mike Fisher put a low shot on net that Henrik Lundqvist couldn’t see through a Colin Wilson screen. Tie game.
Lundqvist stopped the other 31 shots he faced in the game. He has allowed one goal in the last 119:20. Quite the statement from the King.
After a scoreless third period and overtime the fans in Nashville were treated to a skills competition.
Jimmy Vesey shot first for the Rangers in the shootout. What you can’t hear in the .gif below are the boos and jeers. You also, unfortunately, can’t hear the collective groans of disappointment.
Mats Zuccarello shot second and his goal was filthy.
And Hank closed the door on Nashville’s shooters to seal the deal.
The Rangers have improved to 22-10-1 on the season. They are 7-3-0 in their last ten games. Tonight’s win was their first shootout victory of the year.
Matt Puempel returned to action tonight for the Rangers in his first game back after his head injury. He saw the second-least amount of ice time among Rangers forwards with just 10:52 TOI. Marek Hrivik played just 9:25. Puempel was in the lineup for Brandon Pirri.
The Rangers will play the Devils tomorrow at the Garden. New Jersey is 0-5-0 in their last five games and they have scored just six goals during that stretch.