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Recap: Predators Pounce for 2-1 Victory Over Rangers

I didn’t know who Juuso Parssinen was before tonight, to be honest.

New York Rangers v Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

After a third period outburst that saw them rack up six goals against the Red Wings, the Rangers looked to carry that scoring touch to the home of country music in Nashville Saturday night. Instead, they were faced with the familiar tune of outplaying the opponent but losing anyway. This time the final score was 2-1.

Nashville took an early lead on a goal by Juuso Parssinen, who, it turns out, is a hockey player. With Alexis Lafrenière caught back defending the rookie center off the rush, Parssinen took the opportunity to overpower the winger for his first career goal in his first career game. Going from a seventh round draft pick to playing on the top line and scoring three years later is a pretty neat trick. The remainder of the first period would see both teams find a few scoring chances, though neither would convert. The Rangers out shot the Preds 11-4.

In the second period, the Predators scored their second goal. Vincent Trocheck attempted to clear the puck along the boards, but it was intercepted by Roman Josi. The Predators captain found a wide open Mark Jankowski in the slot, who fired the puck past Jaroslav Halak. It was one of those plays that looked innocuous until it didn’t. The Rangers got on the board later in the second. You’d never believe it, but Adam Fox was involved. Gathering a loose puck behind the net, he hit Filip Chytil in the high slot with a perfect pass, and Chytil made no mistake. The goal was Chytil’s fourth of the year, and his fourth point in four games since returning from injury.

The third period came and went without another score. Credit to Jusse Saros in net for the Preds, as he had a strong outing, but the Rangers once again struggled to finish despite having a sizable edge in shots (35-18) and xG (3.4-2.3, per HockeyViz). It’s an odd position for the Rangers to be in after outperforming their expected results last year, but this is becoming something of a pattern. Regardless of what it says about the team’s true talent, continuing to fail to bank two points against middling opponents is not a good look for a team that wants to be a contender. They’ll have a chance for a couple easy points tomorrow against the Coyotes.

But then again, is it ever easy with Rangers?