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Ribeiro's 700th point gives Predators win vs. Rangers

by Robby Stanley /

NASHVILLE -- Mike Ribeiro's goal with 7:14 remaining in the third period gave the Nashville Predators a 3-2 win against the New York Rangers at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

The goal by Ribeiro was his 700th NHL point. He took a pass from defenseman Seth Jones and placed a slap shot under the crossbar for his 11th goal of the season.

"It's not much," Ribeiro said of 700 points. "I think I'm waiting more for 500 assists (he has 487) more than the goal. I think most important is I don’t shoot often, but this one went in and it’s a big two points for us."

Nashville (34-12-6) is 21-3-1 at home. New York (30-16-4) lost for the first time in three games and is 11-5-0 in its past 16.

Rick Nash gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 11:49 of the second period on the power play with his 33rd goal. Nash's first backhand attempt was stopped by Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne, but he got the rebound and scored on the second attempt.

"It doesn’t seem like we're down a goal, it just seems like somebody's got to score the first goal and we've just got to keep playing for the 60 minutes," Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. "I wouldn't think that the players, nor do I, ever think that there is any danger at that point. We'd like to score the first goal. I guess it's probably like cutting a deck of cards, right? Everybody's got a good hockey team, so 50 percent of the time you can score it and 50 percent of the time you can’t score it."

Nashville defenseman Roman Josi tied the game 1-1 with 1:21 remaining in the second period on a slap shot from the slot that went past New York goaltender Cam Talbot. The rebound of a shot by forward Gabriel Bourque came to Josi, who had an open shooting lane.

"The first 10 or 15 minutes of the second period, we weren't very good," Predators defenseman Shea Weber said. "To get that goal, I think, got us rolling. We started playing in their end a little bit, got another goal, and I think that turned the tide."

Weber gave the Predators a 2-1 lead with 39.1 seconds remaining in the second on a slap shot from the right faceoff circle. The puck trickled out to the faceoff circle and Weber shot it through traffic for his 12th goal.

"That was huge," Ribeiro said. "The second period wasn’t our greatest period for the first 15 minutes, and then Josi scored and then [Weber] right after. That was huge. The big pair came up big for us. [New York] scored in the third, but I think from those goals we got energy a little bit and captured the momentum and were able to push the game along."

New York defenseman Ryan McDonagh tied the game 2-2 at 1:37 of the third period. McDonagh got the puck at the point, moved around Nashville forward Eric Nystrom and took a wrist shot that went past Rinne on the far side.

"It was a good hockey game," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said. "Both teams competed really hard, and I really liked the way we played on the road today. We didn't really give them too many opportunities, and a couple of those goals against, the puck had eyes and found holes. We spent a lot of time in their end. I like the way we played, and we'll get back at it tomorrow night."

Talbot made 20 saves in his second straight start in place of Henrik Lundqvist, who has a vascular injury. Rinne made 30 saves for his League-leading 30th win.

"I thought that New York came really hard," Rinne said. "They played a fast game. They have a pretty skilled team with a lot of speed, and it was a challenge for us. I think they played a pretty good game and we were able to [get] obviously timely goals. [Josi] and [Weber] at the end of the second period, that was huge for us."

Nashville forward Colin Wilson is listed as day-to-day after he sustained an upper-body injury in the first period and did not return to the game. He took a big hit from New York defenseman Dan Girardi on the rush. Wilson had 14 points in his previous 13 games and a career-high 36 points.

New York forward Jesper Fast left the game with a sprained knee in the second period and did not return.

The Predators have not lost two games in a row in regulation and are 11-0-1 after losing the previous game.

The Rangers will host the Dallas Stars on Sunday; Nashville will play at the Florida Panthers.

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