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Nashville Predators 0, New York Rangers 2

Saturday, 11.23.2013 / 10:18 PM CT / News
By Jimi Russell  - Nashville Predators
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Nashville Predators 0, New York Rangers 2
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The Nashville Predators were held scoreless on Saturday night as the New York Rangers downed the Preds, 2-0.

After a scoreless first 27 minutes of play, Ryan McDonagh broke the tie as he tipped a Dan Girardi shot past Marek Mazanec at the 13:13 mark of the second period. McDonagh broke into the zone and ended up alone, just above the crease, and tipped the shot five-hole.

The Rangers opened the gap to two goals at the 7:45 mark of the final frame. Mats Zuccarello picked up a loose puck near center ice and skated in two-on-one with Derek Stepan. Zuccarello saucered a pass over Kevin Klein’s stick, hit Stepan in stride, as the Ranger centerman rifled a shot over Mazanec shoulder.

The Preds put on a late push with Mazanec pulled, as Shea Weber dinged two shots off the post with less than two minutes remaining in the game, but the effort was all for naught as the Rangers held on for the shut out.

Two Big Things and Notes:

Penalty Kill Remains Strong: Nashville’s penalty kill stymied the League’s third-best road power play on their three man-advantage chances on Saturday night. The Preds have not allowed a power-play goal in four games (0-11), as they have faced some of the League’s top power-play units, and have only surrendered three power-play goals on 29 times shorthanded in their last nine outings. Nashville’s penalty kill is now ranked 12th in the League (83.3 percent), while allowing the 10th-fewest power-play goals (13) in the League.

Face-off Dominance: If the Nashville Predators do anything better than 99.9 percent of the League, it’s winning face-offs. The Predators rank second in the League in team face-off win percentage this season (55.1 percent). Nashville has been better than 50 percent in the face-off circle in 20 of its 23 games this season. Nashville is led in the face-off circle by Paul Gaustad, who has won 247 of 400 face-offs this season (61.6 percent) to lead the League in the category among players who have taken at least 250 draws. Gaustad started Saturday night’s tilt going zero-for-three in the first period, but recovered to go nine for 14 on the night. Matt Cullen has also been strong on the dot, as he ranks among the League’s top face-off men (fifth, 58.5 percent), winning 162 of 277 draws on the season. He went 8-for-12 on Saturday night.

Team Notes:

The Predators’ penalty kill was perfect again tonight, and has not allowed a goal in thirteen straight opportunities.

Nashville won 27 of 47 faceoffs (57 percent) to improve to 55.1% on the season.

Tonight was the fifth time in 2013-14 that the Predators have been shut out.

Player Notes:

Kevin Klein's fighting major was the sixth of his career (last on March 14, 2013 at Vancouver).

First-year goaltender Marek Mazanec was strong in the loss, stopping 32 of 34 shots. His .929 save percentage is second behind Anaheim netminder Frederik Andersen among rookies. Tonight was the sixth straight start for the young Czech.

Captain Shea Weber led all players in ice time at 27:49. Weber has led Nashville in ice time in 16 of the last 17 games. Weber also led the Predators with three shots on goal.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - ANA 82 51 24 7 228 221 109
2 y - STL 82 51 24 7 239 197 109
3 x - NSH 82 47 25 10 226 202 104
4 x - CHI 82 48 28 6 220 186 102
5 x - VAN 82 48 29 5 236 220 101
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10 DAL 82 41 31 10 257 257 92
11 COL 82 39 31 12 209 223 90
12 SJS 82 40 33 9 224 226 89
13 EDM 82 24 44 14 193 276 62
14 ARI 82 24 50 8 165 267 56

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
F. Forsberg 82 26 37 15 63
M. Ribeiro 82 15 47 11 62
R. Josi 81 15 40 15 55
S. Weber 78 15 30 15 45
C. Smith 82 23 21 11 44
C. Wilson 77 20 22 19 42
M. Fisher 59 19 20 4 39
J. Neal 67 23 14 12 37
R. Ellis 58 9 18 8 27
S. Jones 82 8 19 3 27
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 41 17 6 .923 2.18
C. Hutton 6 7 4 .902 2.61