The New York Rangers hope to conclude a three-game road trip on a positive note as they shoot for a third straight win in Nashville this evening against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena.
After a 5-3 loss at Tampa on Wednesday in which they trailed by five goals after two periods, the Rangers got defensive on Friday versus Florida, posting a 3-0 victory.
Henrik Lundqvist came into the game 1-4-0 with a 3.74 goals-against average over his previous five starts, losing three straight, but made a season-high 40 saves for his third shutout of the season and 27th of his career.
"The timing felt a lot better, I'm on my knees more, so technically it was one of my better games, I think," Lundqvist said. "I had some luck and some help there at the end, puck bouncing everywhere. Maybe I deserve a lucky one here tonight after a couple tough bounces here and there."
Derek Stepan scored for a second straight game to give him three goals and four assists over a six-game point streak, Brandon Prust notched his first goal of the season, a short-handed marker, and Ryan Callahan posted his sixth goal of the year.
New York has won three of four and six of its last nine while improving to 8-4-0 on the road.
The Predators picked up their third straight loss last night, a 5-2 setback in Minnesota. Martin Erat and Steve Sullivan both had power-play goals, but Pekka Rinne gave up three goals on nine shots and was pulled after the first period. Anders Lindback made 12 saves on 14 shots the rest of the way.
"We had a few chances early on, but they didn't go in and they just got on a roll there," said Sullivan. "They got the one, then another one and kept coming at us. When you go down that deep on the road you're not going to win."
Nashville has been outscored 9-3 over its current skid and played a fourth straight game without forward David Legwand due to a lower-body injury.
The Predators posted a 2-1 triumph over the Rangers in the lone meeting last year and have won four of the last six meetings overall, but was a 4-2 loser when the clubs last met in Nashville on March 12, 2009.
New York has won two straight and three of its last four in Nashville.
Lundqvist is 2-2-0 with a 2.03 GAA in four career starts versus the Preds, while backup Martin Biron is 4-2-0 against them with a tie and 2.24 GAA.
Neither Rinne nor Lindback have ever faced the Rangers before.