The Nashville Predators welcomed in the New York Rangers to Bridgestone Arena on Monday night. The Preds scored the only goal of the first period as Filip Forsberg scored a power-play goal at 18:56.
The second period allowed for the Rangers to tie the game as Jesper Fast scored at 6:59. James Neal tallied his 14th goal of the season at 13:48 to give the Preds a 2-1 lead to end the second period.
The third period opened with the Preds scoring three unanswered by Craig Smith (7:34), a power-play goal by Ryan Ellis (9:52), and James Neal’s second of the contest (11:13). With the contest in hand, the Preds seemed to go on their heels while the Rangers ramped up the offense. The Rangers scored two goals, Rick Nash and J.T. Miller, to get the game to 5-3. Pekka Rinne and the defense hung on to give the Preds the victory to send their overall record to 18-12-6 on the season.
Tonight, the Preds play the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center at 7:00 pm. On Sunday night, the Blues lost to the Dallas Stars 3-0.
Keys to Watch
St. Louis Dominance
This season, the St. Louis Blues (22-12-4) have dominated the contests against the Nashville Predators. The first match was on November 7th at Bridgestone Arena. Goaltender, Jake Allen, stopped a career high of 45 shots on net while the Blues put up three goals in the third period. In their second match-up on December 17th, St. Louis won a close encounter of 2-1. Vladimir Tarasenko scored a third period power-play goal to give St. Louis the victory. Nashville will need to find a way to get the victory against their Central Division rival. The Preds have been playing much better over the most recent games. Look for the Preds to put together a complete game in St. Louis to get their first victory against one of their division rivals.
It is difficult to find a player on the Nashville roster that has been better than Roman Josi, especially as of recent. In the last five games, Josi has two goals and four assists with a point in four out of the five games. The Bern, Switzerland native is also averaging 26.8 shifts per game and over 23 minutes time-on-ice per game. Josi is ranked fifth amongst defensemen with 28 points, fourth with nine goals, and tied for first with 15 power-play points. The Preds need Roman Josi to continue his dominate play on the blue line.
The Nashville Predators went through a span of games where there were lots of struggles with the man-advantage. For example, in the November 7th match-up against the Blues, the Preds went 0-for-5 on the power-play. In the month of December, the Preds have the third highest power-play percentage in the NHL of 29.3%. The Preds have 12 goals with the man-advantage and have raised their overall power-play percentage on the season to fourth in the NHL to 21.7%. If the Preds get on the power-play, they need to take advantage of their opportunities when provided.
Tonight, the Preds will look to get their only win of the season against the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center. The game will be covered on NBCSN or you can listen live on 102.5 The Game.
Puck drops at 7:00 pm!