The New York Rangers picked up their third consecutive win on the road this evening as they defeated the Nashville Predators 3-1 in regulation. The trio of Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil and Sammy Blais had themselves a night contributing two of the three goals on the night. Igor Shesterkin had another monster outing in between the pipes, and is casually sporting a .953 save percentage to start out the year.
Filip Chytil (1) - Sammy Blais (1) & Alexis Lafrenière (1) - 2:12
It didn’t take the Rangers very long to jump out to an early lead in this game, as Filip Chytil picked up his first goal of the season. Sammy Blais made an excellent cross-ice feed just prior to the goal, which gave Chytil some space entering the offensive zone. The quick chance in direction left both Nashville defenseman flat footed and Chytil was able make a strong move to the front of the net. Chytil’s sneaky backhand shot caught Juuse Saros off guard, and he slipped the puck over the left pad to give New York the early lead.
Philip Tomasino (1) - Ryan Johansen (2) & Dante Fabbro (1) - 7:01
After the Rangers failed to convert on numerous power play opportunities, the Predators finally caught their break in the offensive zone. A deflection in the high slot sent the puck back in the other direction, which left Igor Shesterkin sprawled out to the right of his net. Philip Tomasino jumped on the loose puck, but put a shot off of the outside of the net on the rebound. Tomasino kept with the play however, and caught a fortunate bounce off of Shesterkin’s pad as he tossed the puck out front from behind the net.
Alexis Lafrenière (2) - Sammy Blais (2) & Adam Fox (3) - 10:53
Despite having a goal wiped off of the board due to offsides, the Rangers continued to stick with their game midway through the third period. Eventually, they turned a ridiculous defensive play by Adam Fox into the go-ahead goal at the 10:53 mark of the third period. Fox started the sequence with a strong rush into the offensive zone, and found Sammy Blais all alone in the high slot. Rather than shooting, Blais made an additional move around the defensemen, and slid the puck to the weak side. Alexis Lafrenière was camped out with his stick on the ice, and buried into the empty net to give New York their second lead of the night.
Barclay Goodrow (1) - Unassisted ENG - 19:54
With the Rangers hanging onto to a lead late in the game, they sent out Barclay Goodrow alongside Mika Zibanejad to kill off the remaining clock. Goodrow made not one, but two great plays in the neutral zone to disrupt Nashville’s attack, and iced the game for the Rangers. Goodrow’s final interception came on Ryan Johansen as he cut through the middle of the ice.
The Rangers have been a very “bend but don’t break” team thus far on the road, and they picked up their third straight win of the road trip. Even while missing two top-six forwards in Ryan Strome and Kaapo Kakko, the Rangers found a way once again. Alexis Lafrenière, Filip Chytil and Sammy Blais may have something cooking in terms of chemistry, and they will be a line to watch as we advance further into the season. Following another solid road win, the Rangers will close out their four-game road trip on Saturday afternoon against the Ottawa Senators.