Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Lundqvist Blanks Predators As Rangers Win 3-0

The New York Rangers continued their ability to put the rare bad performance behind them and take it out on their next opponent.  Following a 4-1 defeat Sunday in Montreal the Rangers got back to basics with their forechecking and defensive style en route to a 3-0 win over the Nashville Predators.

Henrik Lundqvist led the way with 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and 39th of his career.  The win was also the 20th of the season for Lundqvist who rebounded after two subpar outings in a row for the Rangers best player. 

Each of the Rangers three goals had help from the Predators.  Dan Girardi opened the scoring just 6:15 into the game when his attempted pass to the front of the net went off the Predators’ defenseman Jack Hillen and beat backup netminder Anders Lindback short side.

Mid-way through the second period John Mitchell scored for the second consecutive game when he beat Lindback short side from the right faceoff circle.  Mitchell circled along the wall and fired from the circle getting a screen from defenseman Roman Josi.  The goal was Mitchell’s fourth of the season as he continues to show he belongs in the lineup even as Wolski and Christensen are available.

Ryan Callahan capped the scoring with 50.9 seconds remaining when he was hooked by Martin Erat on a breakaway with the empty net. Callahan was awarded the goal because of the empty net, giving him 15 goals on the season.
  • Rangers forecheck was dominant in the third period as they were able to control the clock for much of the final 10 minutes.
  • The penalty kill was excellent, especially when Gaborik was wrongly assessed a double minor for high-sticking against Mike Fisher while the Rangers were on the power play late in the second period.
  • The power play at least threatened a few times tonight, but the conversion rate has to improve.