After losing the Western Conference lead to the Anaheim Ducks Thursday night, the Predators needed the boost from regulation win against the New York Rangers to regain some momentum Saturday afternoon. The Rangers, who were 30-15-4 coming into yesterday’s bout, were riding confidently on a three game winning streak & hoping to extend that to four. Without King Henrik in the net, could the Rangers pull off the win? Or would Pekka Rinne’s return hold off the Blueshirts?
SCRATCHES: Olli Jokinen
- The first period saw plenty of pressure from both sides, but neither team could capitalize on their chances. The Rangers out-shot the Predators 10 to 8.
- By no surprise, the Predators welcomed back former Predator Kevin Klein with a nice tribute video. Klein, who was drafted by Nashville 37th overall in the 2003 draft, spent his entire NHL career with the Predators up until last season when he was traded to the New York Rangers for… sigh… Michael Del Zotto. You can watch the tribute video here.
- The Rangers struck gold first, capitalizing on the powerplay from Rick Nash (33) at 11:49.
- Roman Josi would respond at 18:39, collecting his 10th goal of the season. Gabriel Bourque (5) and Calle Jarnkrok (9) would pick up the assists.
- Shea Weber (12) would give Nashville the lead 2-1 at 19:20 with his signature slapshot past Cam Talbot. Roman Josi (27) and Matt Cullen (6) would notch the assists.
- The Rangers took to out-shooting the Predators during this period as well, this time 12 to 10.
- Ryan McDonagh wasted no time tying the game early into the third; his fourth goal of the season.
- But it was Mike Ribeiro’s seemingly angry slapshot at 12:46 that sealed the game in favor of Nashville 3-2. Seth Jones (14) and Filip Forsberg (30) tallied the assists on Ribeiro’s 11th goal of the season.
- The Rangers would – yet again – out-shoot the Predators, this time 10 to 5, but Nashville would come out as the victors.
- With his 11th goal of the season, Mike Ribeiro has now tallied his 700th career point. Ribeiro, who has been pretty consistent this season and lead the team in points for a good while, hasn’t had a point since January 29th against the Avalanche (picked up an assist). Chalk it up as patience towards that 700th point.
- Colin Wilson sustained an injury during the first period and did not return to the remainder of the match. It was later released that he is day-to-day with an upper-body injury.
- Filip Forsberg continues to slap the NHL with his Calder Memorial Trophy contingency as he continues to lead the Predators in points and in every category that a rookie can (minus goaltending). Forty-seven points in 52 games? Yea, you can’t ignore that.
As usual, the Predators have no time to rest. Today, the team is in Sunrise, Florida to take on the 23-17-10 Panthers who are currently sitting pretty in 5th in the Atlantic Division. With Colin Wilson out, there’s a good chance Olli Jokinen will be off the scratched list and, due to being a back-to-back, Carter Hutton will start in net.