Nashville smelled blood in the water and didn’t hold back. They extended their lead in the second period, and the Rangers found themselves swimming against the tide. Adam Fox, not known for penalties, was boxed twice. That second time, Ryan O’Reilly swooped in to make it 3-0.
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, Artemi Panarin took a high-sticking penalty, giving the Predators their second power-play goal.
A Filip Forsberg clapper chased Igor Shesterkin, who had a tough night, allowing four goals on just 18 shots with a -1.14 goals saved above expected. It’s as if someone replaced his goalie stick with a magic wand that let pucks through.
Coach Laviolette decided it was time for a change and pulled Shesterkin. In came veteran Jonathan Quick, making his Rangers debut. Quick stopped all nine shots, but the damage had already been done. Laviolette explained the move, saying, “The game had not gone how we wanted to that point.” “It wasn’t a reflection of the move against him. It was just a chance to get Jonathan some work.”
Rangers’ Urgency is a top priority:
In the twilight of this gloomy matchup, Adam Fox brightened the Rangers’ spirits with a power-play goal in the second period. However, his heroic effort wasn’t enough to overcome a tough night for the former Norris Trophy winner.
The line of Artemi Panarin-Filip Chytil-Alexis Lafreniere struggled mightily, allowing three high-danger scoring changes in 6:22 of ice time. A lineup shuffle placed Panarin alongside Vincent Trocheck and Will Cuylle as the third period loomed.
A glimmer of hope emerged when Trocheck scored, temporarily narrowing the score gap, but it was short-lived. The unforgiving “offsides” call struck the Blueshirts again, marking the third time they fell victim to this frustrating rule this week. Captain Jacob Trouba spoke candidly about the forgettable night, expressing, “Even if we found a way to win that game, that’s not a game I felt we deserved to win at all.”
“We got outworked. We got out-battled”, Trouba added.” We got out-competed. We got beat. The moral of the game is that we got beat.”
“We’ve got the system,” Chris Kreider said. “We’ve got to move our feet. We’ve got to get people in battles” − but failing to play with the necessary urgency.
This game emphasized the urgency required in hockey, and the Rangers are determined to bounce back on their five-game West Coast trip.