With all the losses the New York Rangers have taken over recent weeks, the team nonetheless remains within striking distance for a Metropolitan Division playoff berth.
They’ll have a chance to edge a little closer when they hit the road tonight to take on the Nashville Predators (8:00 PM, MSG).
The Rangers (25-21-5) are looking to avenge a 4-0 shutout loss from Thursday night, as they dropped their full season set to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team was only able to muster 12 shots through two periods, and allowed all four goals within the first 40 minutes. They also failed to capitalize on any of their three power play chances. A lone bright spot came in the form of Ondrej Pavelec, who stopped all 19 shots thrown at him when he subbed for Henrik Lundqvist.
The Predators (30-12-7) have earned at least one point in eight of their past nine games, the most recent being a 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday. They made things easy for Pekka Rinne, who needed to stop just 19 shots to earn his fifth shutout of the season. Ryan Johansen assisted on three of the goals, while Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist.
The Rangers will look to sweep the season set from the Predators, having won 4-2 at Madison Square Garden back on October 21. The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the first period, courtesy of goals by Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast, each scoring their first of the season. Kevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey later scored for the Rangers, with Mattias Ekholm and Forsberg providing the Nashville tallies. This would be the second consecutive season that the Rangers took a season set from the Predators.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490