Nashville Predators at New York Rangers
6 pm CST
Radio: 104.5 The Zone, Predators Radio Network
TV: Fox Sports Tennessee
Frustration was clearly evident on many faces following last night’s shootout point in Long Island. Giving up a lead, bad penalties, and despite it all a chance to win in a shootout gone by the wayside. Yes, for the Nashville Predators every game is a bit of a struggle lately.
Easily the most frustrating part of last night’s game was the march to the penalty box, and if you tune in for Barry Trotz’s pre-game interview tonight, you’ll hear him elaborate on that point. Suffice to say that he was definitely not thrilled with the penalties taken at any point by the Predators, and that will be a huge focus tonight for the club.
Just to be sure, I asked if the penalties were the result of being too aggressive or physical. The response was no, those penalties had nothing to do with being physical or not. They were just bad penalties.
So that said, the team has to put the game (but not the lesson) behind them tonight. The Rangers are a team that has been up and down all year, but features good scoring up front (provided Marian Gaborik plays tonight) and a goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist who can steal any game. It will be a tall order for the boys, but this team has shown time and time again they can beat the very good clubs. It becomes a matter of not shooting yourself in the foot, really.
I feel like tonight’s game will be a good indicator of where this club is headed post-Olympic break. Can they rebound tonight, and come back with a great effort? The Rangers are well-rested, having had a few days off. You could expect them to have the better legs in the third, meaning the start will be even more important for the Preds. Plus, Dan Ellis will get the nod tonight in the back-to-back situation, and hopefully he can be the spark in net Nashville requires. I’m taking nothing away from Pekka Rinne
, because I feel he’s played well over the past give games. But last night would have required a steal for the win, and even though I hope that’s not the case tonight, if it is Ellis will have to be the guy.
It won’t get any easier with New Jersey on Friday and Pittsburgh Sunday.Notes:
- Gaborik collided with Lundqvist during practice yesterday, and Gaborik left the ice with what is being called a “laceration” on his knee that required stitches. They have not sent him for further evaluation, and his status for tonight is uncertain. Gaborik leads the team with 35 goals.
- Chris Drury’s goal Saturday against the Devils was his first in nine games.
- Lundqvist broke a personal six-game losing streak with 41 saves against the Devils Saturday, helping the Rangers to a 3-1 win.
- Predators forward Colin Wilson
has a chance to play at Madison Square Garden tonight for the first time in his NHL career. Wilson’s dad Carey played for the Rangers among other teams during his 10 year NHL career, and Colin was born in October of 1989 when Carey was a member of the Broadway Blueshirts.
- Stay. Out. Of. The. Box.