Skip to main content
game recap

Saros makes 39 saves, Predators defeat Rangers

Josi has three points for Nashville; Panarin scores for New York to extend streak

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / NHL.com Senior Writer

Josi nets goal through Fox screen

NSH@NYR: Josi uses Fox as screen to net wrist shot

The Rangers turn the puck over, as Roman Josi skates in and uses Adam Fox as a screen to score on a wrist shot, giving the Predators a 2-1 lead

  • 00:35 •

NEW YORK -- Juuse Saros made 39 saves, Roman Josi had three points, and the Nashville Predators defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on Monday.

Josi had two goals and an assist, giving the Predators captain 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in his past 19 games. 

Rocco Grimaldi, Mattias Ekholm and Ryan Ellis also scored for the Predators (15-12-5), who were outshot 41-24 but won for the first time in three games and are 6-3-2 in 11 games since Nov. 23. Ellis also had an assist.

 

[WATCH: All Predators vs. Rangers highlights]

 

Nashville got four goals from defensemen (Josi, Ekholm and Ellis) in the same game for the third time in its history (Oct. 22, 2009 and Nov. 10, 2015). 

"It was just a complete effort," Ellis said.

Video: NSH@NYR: Ekholm strikes off rush after Bonino's pass

Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin scored, Mika Zibanejad had two assists, and Alexandar Georgiev made 19 saves for the Rangers (16-13-4), who were 0-for-4 on the power play. 

Panarin has scored in five straight games for New York, which has lost two straight, including a 4-3 shootout loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday.

"We just weren't able to capitalize on our chances, which was disappointing," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "The more we spent time in their end I thought we sold out a little bit too much for offense. When you sustain some offensive zone time you kind of lose sight of you still have to play hockey. I thought that cost us."

Grimaldi gave the Predators a 1-0 lead at 10:36 of the first period, scoring off the rush with a shot from the left circle that hit off Brady Skjei's ankle.

Video: NSH@NYR: Grimaldi scores after misplay by Georgiev

Kreider scored 34 seconds later on a 2-on-0 with Zibanejad to tie it at 1-1.

The Rangers thought they took the lead at 2:20 of the second period, but the puck off Panarin's shot went off Ekholm, the left post and the back of Saros' left leg before stopping on the goal line. Saros covered up the puck and the play was reviewed, determining the puck didn't cross the line.

"That one was dancing on our goal line," Ekholm said.

Nashville regained the lead 2-1 on Josi's wrist shot from the right circle at 11:16 of the second. 

Ekholm made it 3-1 with a breakaway goal at 15:23 of the second, 12 seconds after he exited the penalty box. 

Nick Bonino forced a turnover in the Predators zone, got the puck, and lifted it up and out to Ekholm, springing him on the breakaway. Ekholm scored with a forehand shot.

"I got out there and we got the puck and I was screaming at Bonino, and he made a terrific play," Ekholm said. "I knew I had the legs and they kind of didn't. Somewhere in there I was starting to think that maybe I can get a break here, and lucky enough I did."

Ekholm wasn't certain he would play because of an illness that kept him in bed for the past four days. He woke up Monday morning at home in Nashville feeling better and was able to fly to New York and arrive by 1 p.m.

"I was hoping but yesterday morning I thought for sure I wasn't going to play because I still had a high fever and all that," Ekholm said. "It kind of went away midday and then I got hopeful at night. I'm happy it turned out the way it did."

Panarin scored to make it 3-2 with 2:42 remaining in the third period, extended his goal-scoring streak to five games, tying his career long streak. 

Video: NSH@NYR: Panarin rifles in wrist shot from the slot

Josi scored a length-of-the-ice empty-net goal with 1:49 left to make it 4-2, and Ellis scored another into the empty net with 4.9 seconds left for the 5-2 final.

"I thought we played pretty smart, the legs were going," Zibanejad said, "but just couldn't finish."

 

They said it

"From our end to their end, I think we could have pushed a little more offensively, but the guys were buying in, blocking shots, doing the right things, staying under pucks. We had to do a bit of soul-searching, and tonight was a good step in the right direction." -- Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis

"It's kind of hard to look at something positive now right after a loss obviously. I thought we did a lot of good things, but that's a good hockey team and you can't really give them anything. They take advantage of that, and that's what they did today." -- Rangers center Mika Zibanejad

 

Need to know

The Predators were outshot for the first time in six games and for only the third time in their past 15 games. … Zibanejad has six points (four goals, two assists) in the past three games and 12 points (seven goals, five assists) in 11 games since returning from an upper-body injury. … Kaapo Kakko played on the Rangers' fourth line at even strength. He stayed on the first power-play unit. The 18-year-old rookie forward has no goals in his past 15 games.

 

What's next

Predators: At the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-TN, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG2, SNO, NHL.TV)

Video: Josi, Saros power Predators past Rangers

View More

The NHL has updated its Privacy Policy effective January 16, 2020. We encourage you to review it carefully.

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.