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game recap

J.T. Miller scores twice in Rangers win

Kevin Hayes has three assists against Predators, New York gets fourth straight victory

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- J.T. Miller scored two goals, and Kevin Hayes had three assists to help the New York Rangers to their fourth straight win, 4-3 against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

Chris Kreider deflected a shot by Mats Zuccarello to break a 2-2 tie at 5:36 of the third period. It was Kreider's 22nd goal, setting a new NHL career high. He had 21 goals each of the past two seasons.

New York trailed 2-0 before Michael Grabner scored his 26th goal at 8:12 of the second period to make it a one-goal game.


WATCH: All Rangers vs. Predators highlights


"I think we all kind of complement each other," Hayes said of his line with Miller and Grabner. "I like to pass, and clearly those two like to score. They are both having great years and are scoring at will right now. I'm just trying to find them. They try to get it to me in the zone, and I just go from there."

Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves for the Rangers (35-18-1), who have won seven of nine (7-2-0). It was the 399th NHL win of Lundqvist's career.

"They maybe took a step back after we scored the first one and it gave us an opportunity to control the play a little bit more," Lundqvist said. "Going into the third, we were a confident group."

Video: NSH@NYR: Lundqvist slides across to deny Johansen

Juuse Saros made 26 saves for the Predators (26-20-8), and P.K. Subban had two assists.

The Predators took a 1-0 lead on a goal by Cody McLeod at 16:39 of the first period. Subban took a slap shot from the blue line that Lundqvist stopped but was unable to control, and the rebound went to McLeod.

Calle Jarnkrok made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 3:50 of the second period, 12 seconds after Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was called for slashing.

"We got a two-goal lead, exactly what we wanted, but [they had a] couple lucky bounces on their goals too," Nashville center Ryan Johansen said. "And myself, I had three chances right in front and I have to find ways to get those in the net because I miss my chance, they come right back down and score."

Grabner started the New York rally when he scored his 12th goal in 14 games, and Miller tied it 2-2 with a one-timer off a pass from Hayes at 14:58 of the second.

Miller scored with four minutes remaining to the Rangers ahead 4-2 before Predators defenseman Roman Josi's power-play goal made it 4-3 with 2:01 left.

New York is 3-0-0 on its four-game homestand.

"We've got some confidence at home and we've played some good games on the road, so we have to continue that," McDonagh said.


Goal of the game

After Josi turned over the puck at the Nashville blue line, Hayes passed to Miller in the right faceoff circle on a 2-on-1 for the one-timer. "Grabner was backchecking, pickpocketed someone, and it was a 2-on-1," Hayes said. "The [defenseman] kind of wanted me to shoot, and I just waited him out and dished it to Miller."

Video: NSH@NYR: Miller one-times Hayes' feed past Saros


Save of the game

Saros got his glove on Grabner's shot from the top of the crease at 10:26 for one of his eight saves in the first period.

Video: NSH@NYR: Saros stones Grabner's attempt from slot


Unsung performance of the game

With the Rangers trailing 2-0, Lundqvist made a save on Johansen at 7:20 of the second period before denying Craig Smith 40 seconds later. After the save on Smith, the Rangers scored on the ensuing rush. "We've been talking about that for a while, those timely saves and those timely goals," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "I thought those saves gave us some momentum, and we were able to capitalize after that and play pretty solid."


Highlight of the game

With the Predators pressing for the tying goal in the final minute, Mike Fisher had a wide open net off a rebound with Lundqvist out of position. Fisher couldn't control the puck, though, and his attempt went wide. "There are stretches where he is going to bury that and stretches where he is going to miss the net," Lundqvist said. "That's hockey. ... Maybe we earned that bounce in the end."


They said it

"They got some fortuitous bounces tonight. One of the goals was off the referee's skate, comes out to the middle, and it's in the back of the net. ... I thought after the first seven or eight minutes, we were working, generating chances, but they're going to get chances, they're a good hockey club." -- Predators coach Peter Laviolette


"We're down by two in the second and we've got to try and turn the game around. A couple of big saves by [Henrik Lundqvist] were really good for our momentum, and to be able to pocket a couple of our chances was big." -- Rangers forward J.T. Miller


Need to know

Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi missed the game after getting stitches in his ankle for a cut sustained blocking a shot in a 4-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. Defenseman Adam Clendening, who replaced Girardi in the lineup, played 15:15 in his first game since Jan. 25. ... The Rangers are 18-5-0 against Western Conference teams this season. ... Nashville went 2-for-3 on the power play and is 3-for-6 in its past two games.


What's next

Predators: Host the Florida Panthers on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; FS-TN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, ALT2, NHL.TV)


Video: Rangers rally for 4-3 home win against Predators

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