Hayes, Miller, Grabner Line Leads Rangers Past Predators
The New York Rangers picked up their fourth consecutive win this evening, and defeated the Nashville Predators by a final score of 4-3. J.T. Miller scored a pair of goals, Kevin Hayes added three assists and Michael Grabner tallied a goal as that line dominated the Predators all night long. Henrik Lundqvist also picked up his 24th win of the season, as he turned away 34 of the 37 shots he faced this evening.
Despite having a relatively strong start to the game, the Rangers dug themselves into a 2-0 hole early in the second period, and had to fight their way back into the game. Thankfully, as mentioned above, the line of Kevin Hayes, J.T. Miller and Michael Grabner was simply dominant tonight and scored three of the Rangers’ four goals.
Cody McLeod wound up opening the scoring for the Predators, after P.K. Subban’s point shot generated a round in front of Henrik Lundqvist. Adam Clendening was just a half step away and was unable to tie up McLeod before he buried the rebound at the top of the crease. Calle Jarnkrok wound up doubling the Predators lead early in the second period, after ripping a wrist shot past Lundqvist from the left faceoff circle on the power play.
At that point in the game, the Rangers needed to find a quick response in order to have a shot at coming back. Thankfully, Michael Grabner responded a short time later off of a beautiful pass from Hayes and brought the Rangers back within a goal. That same line converted yet again at the 14:58 mark of the second period, with Miller slamming home a cross-ice feed from Kevin Hayes to make it a 2-2 game.
The Rangers carried that momentum over to the third period, where Chris Kreider gave the Rangers the lead, and J.T. Miller added his second of the night later on in the period. The four unanswered goals by the Rangers held up until the Predators made it a one goal game at the 17:59 mark of the third period, and pushed the Rangers back against the wall.
Although, the Rangers were able to weather the storm in the closing minutes, and preserved their one goal lead for four straight victories. Following tonight’s comeback victory, the Rangers will have one final game remaining in their mini homestand and that will be on Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche.