NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Rangers continued all through a black-and-blue battle towards the Predators, however didn’t do sufficient on the scoreboard.
It was a miracle that each Rangers skater performed till the ultimate minute of this 2-1 loss to the Predators, who obtained each their objectives Saturday night time at Bridgestone Arena from gamers who had been recalled from their AHL affiliate, the Milwaukee Admirals, in the previous couple of weeks.
The Rangers had been proper on the Predators’ tails for a lot of the sport, nonetheless, stringing collectively chances that simply barely missed the mark to tie the rating. In reality, they outshot Nashville 35-18. Julien Gauthier practically had a tap-in aim on the submit that may’ve knotted the rating at 2-2 with roughly 7 ½ minutes left, however it went simply vast.
Tensions started to escalate in the second interval, which the Rangers entered trailing by a aim. After Vincent Trocheck rang one off the submit on the ability play early on, the Predators doubled their lead to 2-1 only a few minutes later, when middle Mark Jankowski buried a feed following a profitable keep-in by the house workforce.
Rangers defenseman Ryan Lindgren later dropped his gloves in pursuit of Ryan Johansen, however the referees received in the way in which and hit each gamers with unsportsmanlike penalties. Shortly after that, Jeremy Lauzon went after Lindgren and received in greater than his honest share of licks, sending Lindgren to the Rangers locker room with blood dripping down his face.
The Rangers then briefly lost Sammy Blais, who blocked a tough shot and appeared to be in immense ache earlier than limping to the locker room. Both Blais and Lindgren returned to the Rangers’ bench earlier than the second intermission, however it was clear the complete lineup was feeling the results from the Predators’ bodily play.
Just when it appeared the sport had settled down, Mika Zibanejad blasted a shot that nailed Jimmy Vesey proper in the face behind the Predators’ internet. Vesey had a harsh mark on his face and had to be tended to by Rangers coach Jim Ramsey, however the ahead remained on the bench and didn’t miss a shift.
The Rangers are in a precarious position when it comes to accidents and their depth. They are already carrying 23 gamers when it might be in their finest curiosity to minimize it to 22 in order to accrue as a lot cap space as attainable in anticipation of the commerce deadline. But accidents simply preserve popping up, so the Rangers actually don’t have a selection.
Since Vitali Kravtsov was unavailable Saturday night time due to what the workforce mentioned was a abdomen bug, Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant bumped Gauthier up to the appropriate wing on the second line, subsequent to Artemi Panarin and Trocheck. Gauthier had earned a glance in the highest six, however it additionally made essentially the most sense if the Rangers wished to preserve a majority of their lineup intact after a powerful offensive displaying towards the Red Wings on Thursday.
Ryan Reaves drew again into the lineup, slotting into his common right-wing spot on the fourth line. The bruising veteran did what he does finest in a recreation in which the Rangers wanted it most. In a heavyweight tilt with Tanner Jeannot, Reaves took the Predators wing down in convincing vogue.
The Rangers could have restricted the Predators to simply 4 pictures on aim in the primary interval, however the guests — regardless of two power-play alternatives — had been chasing the sport after the opening 20 minutes and for the remainder of the night time.
Defenseman Ok’Andre Miller was caught out of position whereas taking part in aggressively in the offensive zone, leaving Alexis Lafreniere to attempt to cover on protection. Skating in his first NHL recreation, Predators rookie Juuso Parssinen was ready beat Lafreniere with a powerful transfer to the web earlier than chipping it previous Jaroslav Halak for the 1-0 lead and his first career aim lower than 5 minutes into the sport.