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Rangers' Nash frustrated with scoring slump

by Dan Rosen

NEW YORK -- It's not as if New York Rangers right wing Rick Nash is waiting to score a goal off his leg or his arm, but he sure would take one right about now.

Nash hasn't scored a goal in 13 straight games, including 12 in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and has just one in his past 18 games as he and the Rangers prepare to play Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Second Round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday (7 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

The Penguins lead the best-of-7 series, 3-2.

"When you're struggling this bad it always seems like it's one off your shin pad, one that shouldn't go in that goes in," Nash said. "It's one of those fluky ones that gets you out of the funk."

Nash said he can't remember any of his scoring slumps extending like this one has, and there's a good reason for that. The 13-game goalless drought is the longest of Nash's career. He had three previous droughts that stretched to 11 games, but none since the 2010-11 season.

He has scored 336 goals in 783 career regular-season games, but just two in 28 playoff games. He had only one goal in 12 playoff games last season.

"The chances are there," Nash said. "It seems like each night I get two 'A' chances and a couple of shots from the outside, but it's frustrating. It's not one of those things where you sit back and say, 'It'll come.' It's frustrating. We need goals now and it hasn't been easy."

Nash shook his head as he reflected back on his missed chance in Game 5 on Friday, when he had what appeared to be an open net and shot the puck through the crease.

He said a missed chance like that is the perfect example of what happens when a goal scorer is in a scoring slump and can't figure out a way to shake it.

Nash still feels like he's contributing in other areas, such as on the Rangers' penalty kill, which is 14-for-15 in the series against Pittsburgh. He has five assists in the playoffs and is a plus-1. He even leads the NHL with 49 shots on goal.

"But it's definitely the elephant in the room, the struggle of not being able to score," Nash said.

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