Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Rangers Stymie Predators in 3-0 Win

The Nashville Predators headed into New York to play the Rangers, who have the best record in hockey, without two members of their "big three" and the result was somewhat predictable. The Predators five game winning streak was snapped in a 3-0 loss.

Henrik Lundqvist put on a perfect performance, stopping all 27 Predator shots. Dan Girardi, John Mitchell, and Ryan Callahan provided all the offense that was needed for the blue shirts.

Anders Linback was the hard luck loser, stopping 26 of 28 Ranger shots. Lindback performed admirably on the world biggest stage at Madison Square Gardens and was not responsible for the loss on a night when the Preds failed to put a puck in the net.

A major missing cog for the Predators was Ryan Suter, especially on the power play. The Predators were blanked on both of their two man-advantage attempts and only managed one shot. Shea Weber tried to make up for his partner's absence, firing five shots and making four hits but it was to no avail.

The Predators stayed in New York for the evening and planned to make the short flight to Columbus on Wednesday morning to prepare for Thursday night's match with the Blue Jackets.

Make the jump for more details from the game along with a few comments from the couch.

First Period...

Lindback started in net for the Predators while Lundqvist was between the pipes for the Rangers.

Scratches for the Predators were Ryan Suter and Chris Mueller.

With Suter out the defensive parings were generally Shea Weber-Frankie Bouillon, Kevin Klein-Roman Josi, and Jack Hillen-Ryan Ellis.

The Rangers got on the board early at 6:15 when Girardi was credited with a goal that was actually tipped into the net by Preds D-man, Jack Hillen.

At 17:09, the Predators had their best scoring chance of the period when Sergei Kostitsyn and Marty Erat worked diligently to try to get the puck past Lundqvist.

Both teams played well in the period and other than the miscue that led to the goal, were almost flawless.

1st Period        Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0        11         x       0-0:00  9-6  60%
Rangers           1        10         x       0-0:00  6-9  40%

Second Period...

The first penalty of the game came at 2:00 when Colin Wilson tripped Brad Richards. With twelve seconds left in the Preds penalty, John Mitchell was called for tripping Bouillon.

The Rangers did not get a shot on the man advantage but did get two short-handed shots when Weber and  Josi played loose with the puck in front of Lindback who was lucky not to be scored upon. The Preds had one power play shot.

The Rangers made it 2-0 at 10:42 when Mitchel fired an unassisted shot from the left circle that eluded Lindback.

In one of the worst calls I've seen in a while, Erat was called for goalie interference when he was pushed in to Lundqvist at 18:24. Seventeen seconds later, it was far surpassed when Marian Gaborik was called for a double-minor high-sticking penalty when Kostitsyn hit Fisher in the face with his stick.

2nd Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0         8        37       2-4:00 10-10 50%
Rangers         1        12        38       4-6:00 10-10 50%

Third Period...

The period started with a 2:41 power play carry-over from the Gaborik penalty. The Predators were not credited with a shot on the man-advantage.

The Predators played desperate hockey for the whole period but never gained any traction.

With 50.9 seconds a goal was awarded to Callahan as Erat interfered with his drive to an empty netter. The official call was "hooking on a breakaway" and comes from an obscure rule that is rarely called. For those wanting to do their own analysis it is Rule 25.1.

3rd  Period       Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0        10        26       1-0:00 7-10  41%
Rangers         1          8        13       0-0:00 10-7  59%


Final     Goals            Shots          Corsi            PIMs         Faceoffs  
Predators        0        27        56       0-0:00 26-26 50%
Rangers              3        28        48       2-4:00 26-26 50%

More Later...

Buddy Oakes for PredsOnTheGlass

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