Tue, Jan 17, 2012 - 7:30 PM ET
Game Recap

Rangers shut out Predators 3-0

Watch highlights
Watch highlights
Share This Story



After Henrik Lundqvist and his teammates bounced back from a modest slump by shutting out the Nashville Predators, New York Rangers owner James Dolan decided to say what's been on his mind for a while: his club is Stanley Cup title material.


Best on the ice or just playing nice? Which team tops our power rankings?

''We're pretty close to getting that back,'' Dolan said after the Rangers beat Nashville 3-0 Tuesday night.

Lundqvist made 27 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and New York ended the Predators' winning streak at five games. It was an impressive performance by the Rangers, who lost two of three before tipping a close game their way in the second period. Lundqvist made some big saves, and the Rangers got a goal from John Mitchell, who has been given more ice time in the last few weeks.

After the game, Dolan and coach John Tortorella walked into the postgame news conference together and, laughing, Dolan accepted Tortorella's invitation to talk to the media. He told a story about a pact he made with president and general manager Glen Sather in 2004, when the Rangers decided to stop trying to sign high-priced free agents and instead build around young players through the draft.

''I'm very proud of the organization,'' Dolan said. ''I'm particularly proud of Mr. Sather.''

Although Tortorella was laughing, he clearly didn't want to discuss anything but the next game or two, and with reason. New York leads the NHL with 62 points, three ahead of second-place Boston in the Eastern Conference. The Pittsburgh Penguins and the Bruins are up next on the schedule.

He debunked the notion that the Rangers were closing in on their first championship since 1994.

''I had my owner up here talking about winning a Stanley Cup,'' Tortorella said. ''We have to take it one game at a time.''

nhl ice girls


Forget the Zamboni. The best way to clean the ice is NHL ice girls.

The Predators, who beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Monday, have won eight of 10. The Rangers had lost two of three entering Tuesday's game following a five-game winning streak, and still haven't quite broken out of a scoring slump. New York has averaged about two goals in 12 games since Christmas.

Lundqvist was the goalie in New York's last two losses, and Tortorella described him as ''itching to go.''

''In Montreal, there were a lot of shots right in front, and maybe I was not as aggressive as I wanted to be,'' Lundqvist said. ''I tried to correct that tonight and be more active. I play very deep, so I need to be active when I play.''

Mitchell scored midway through the second period and defenseman Dan Girardi had a goal in the first when what appeared to be a pass went off Nashville defenseman Jack Hillen and fluttered in behind backup goalie Anders Lindback, who was moving left to right across the crease.

''I thought Lindy gave us a real good game,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. ''I said to our guys, we didn't really take a step backward, even though we lost the game. I thought we stacked up quite well against the Rangers.''

Ryan Callahan was awarded a goal when he dived to try to knock the puck into the empty net in the final minute, and Martin Erat dived on top of him.

Fans chanted ''Hen-rik!'' several times, none louder than just before the final minute, when Nashville had to take its timeout. Lundqvist didn't need to make another stop to finish his 39th NHL shutout.

Punch 'em back

NHL's toughest guys dropped the mitts in the best fights of 2011-2012.

Mitchell also scored New York's goal in a 4-1 loss in Montreal on Sunday.

On Tuesday, he skated into the corner, drew defenseman Francis Bouillon with him, hit the brakes, popped back out, and was alone to fire a shot past Lindback's short side at 10:42 of the second. Lindback, the backup to Pekka Rinne, made 25 saves.

That came shortly after several minutes of end-to-end hockey. Immediately after the goal, Nashville turned up the pressure, and Lundqvist made three quick saves during a chaotic couple of minutes.

''We got into a little track meet there in the second period,'' Tortorella said. ''Henrik made some great saves.''

The Rangers missed an opportunity to add on when Martin Erat was sent off for running into Lundqvist near the end of the period. Just 17 seconds into the power play, Marian Gaborik was given four minutes for high-sticking, but the Rangers killed it off with a grinding third period.

''We played a really good game,'' Lundqvist said. "I didn't have to do a lot, a couple saves here or there.''

NOTES: Nashville has been perfect on the penalty kill in 10 of 12 games. ... Rangers F Carl Hagelin was stuffed three times by Lindback in the first period. The last one, just before the period ended, came when the rookie couldn't get much on a pass and floated the puck harmlessly on net. ... Nashville lost in regulation at the Rangers for the third time in nine games. ... It was Mitchell's fourth goal of the season. He was recalled from Connecticut of the AHL on Nov. 24.

Tagged: Rangers, Predators, Martin Erat, Henrik Lundqvist, John Mitchell

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