NHL

Predators-Rangers Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Their latest defeat prompted the New York Rangers to hold a closed-door, players-only meeting they hope will resolve some issues and help the team get back on track.

The slumping Nashville Predators are searching for answers of their own.

New York looks to avoid a fourth straight home loss while dealing Nashville a sixth consecutive defeat Tuesday night.

The Rangers (15-15-1) seemed out of sync in Sunday's 4-1 loss to Washington, a performance that came one night after opening a franchise-record nine-game homestand with a 4-3 overtime loss to New Jersey.

They've lost three of four overall, allowing at least four goals in each defeat. They haven't lost four straight at Madison Square Garden since Feb. 20-March 3, 2011.

''We should be the ones dictating everything,'' defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. ''Especially home games, it's been too easy for teams coming in here. (We need to) come out with a lot of fire and get some hits, some blocked shots and get the crowd into it.

''They really had nothing to stand up for, and it's something we're ashamed of. It's something we take some pride in here and try (to) correct.''

The players gathered sans coaches and media for roughly 15 minutes Sunday hoping to spark a turnaround.

''It's not going to come from anyone else except from the 22 guys in here,'' center Derek Stepan said. ''It doesn't matter if you were playing well, playing bad. It doesn't matter. We have to start playing as a group.

''We need to grasp it here, need to play with some desperation. That's the biggest key right now."

McDonagh and Stepan scored in New York's 2-0 win over Nashville on Nov. 23, and the Rangers will look to sweep the season series with a Predators team having trouble finding the back of the net.

Nashville (13-14-3) has totaled seven goals during its five-game skid, and it allowed the first three in Saturday's 5-2 loss to Washington. Roman Josi and Eric Nystrom scored, while rookie Marek Mazanec made 28 saves.

''We couldn't find a way to score,'' said defenseman Shea Weber, who played for the first time since being hit with a puck Nov. 28. ''Same story, we've just got to find a way to put it in.''

Coach Barry Trotz is doing his best to help his team focus on the task at hand.

"It's making it very difficult," Trotz said. "You can't just look at the big picture, better to just look at the next game. Win the next game and you've got to work at it a game at a time. ... We just don't have the finish we need right now."

After Cam Talbot made 17 saves to earn the shutout in the first meeting, the Predators likely will have to contend with Henrik Lundqvist in goal for the Rangers.

Lundqvist who signed a seven-year, $59.5 million contract extension Wednesday, is just 2-3-1 with a 3.19 goals-against average over his last six starts. He's 4-2-0 with a 1.50 GAA in six career outings against Nashville, which could counter with Mazanec.

Mazanec, who made 32 saves in the first meeting, is 0-4-1 with a 3.42 GAA in his last five starts.

The Rangers have won the last three meetings with the Predators, including the past two via shutout.

Tagged: Rangers, Predators

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Toews, Kane: Easy decision to resign with Blackhawks Posted: Jul 17, 2014
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane say their decision to sign matching 8-year, $84M...

LA mayor 'F-bombs' Kings rally Posted: Jun 17, 2014
Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti toasts the Stanley Cup champion Kings in front o...

Kings, fans celebrate Stanley Cup Posted: Jun 16, 2014
Kings players celebrate winning the Stanley Cup with a parade through downtown L...

More Than Sports on MSN

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt