NEW YORK - Rookie Colin Wilson scored the go-ahead goal on a second-period power play, Dan Ellis made 37 saves and Nashville Predators snapped a five-game road losing streak with a 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.
The game was played in front of a surprisingly large crowd of 13,128 at Madison Square Garden despite a daylong blizzard. The Rangers had sold out 187 consecutive home games since Oct. 31, 2005.
Wilson scored in the closing seconds of an extended power play and helped Ellis win for the first time since Jan. 15 at Calgary. He was 0-3 since and had played only once in Nashville's previous eight games. Jordin Tootoo also scored for the Predators, who were 0-4-1 in their five previous road games. They are 3-6-2 in their past 11 overall.
The only goal he allowed was a power-play tally by Vinny Prospal in the second period. The Rangers' already struggling offence was dealt another blow when leading scorer Marian Gaborik was forced to sit out because of a cut on his right leg sustained Tuesday in practice when he made contact with goalie Henrik Lundqvist's skate.
Gaborik is day to day, and the Rangers hope the Slovak Olympian will play Friday at Pittsburgh. New York is 2-8 in its past 10 and has dropped below the playoff cutoff in the Eastern Conference. The Rangers have scored three goals or fewer in all but one of those games.
Wilson turned good fortune into the winning goal.
Rangers defenceman Michal Rozsival's clearing attempt was knocked down by teammate Ryan Callahan, and the puck came to Wilson, who snapped in a shot from the bottom of the right circle at 16:10 for his second goal in his 12th NHL game - all this season.
The goal came as a direct result of 19-year-old rookie defenceman Michael Del Zotto, who compounded a hooking call against him by complaining to the referee. The lack of discipline earned him an extra two minutes for unsportsmanlike conduct, and Nashville took advantage after the Rangers had done a solid job in killing all but 24 seconds of the four-minute power play.
When Del Zotto returned to the bench, he got an earful from angry coach John Tortorella and spent the rest of the period at the far end. Del Zotto then slinked back to the dressing room when the period was over.
Del Zotto was back on the ice in the opening minute of the third.
Lundqvist made 34 saves.
New York had gotten even at 9:48 when Prospal scored during the Rangers' two-man advantage. Olli Jokinen, shortly after he made a deft play at the blue line to keep the puck in the zone, fired wide of the net. The puck caromed hard off the end boards and came to Prospal at the right post for a shot that struck Ellis and bounced in.
Nashville, showing no signs of fatigue after a 4-3 shootout loss at the New York Islanders on Tuesday night, took a 1-0 lead with 2:15 remaining in the first when Kevin Klein's shot from the point hit Tootoo and sailed past Lundqvist.
NOTES: Rangers D Corey Potter, recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Tuesday was in the lineup as a seventh defenceman. ... Wilson was Nashville's eighth first-round pick to make his NHL debut with the team. ... The Predators have five wins and a tie at MSG since Jan. 31, 2000. This was their first visit since a 3-0 win on Oct. 18, 2006.