By Amanda DiPaolo
New York Rangers 13-10-1
Nashville Predators 9-8-4
Brandon Dubinsky is finally leading the Rangers offense after years of the Rangers organization waiting for his breakout season. Can Nashville stop him now that he is playing with Marian Gaborik? (Photo: Yardbarker.com)
The Nashville Predators will try to forget Friday afternoon’s 5-2 beating at the hands of the Minnesota Wild Saturday night when the New York Rangers play at Bridgestone Arena.
Both Nashville and New York played on Friday. The Predators lost to the Wild 5-2 and remain 13th in the Western Conference and are currently losers of three straight games. The Rangers shutout the Florida Panthers 3-0 and are 6th in Eastern Conference.
The Predators scored twice in the third period Friday afternoon, both were power play goals. If Nashville could get their power play on a roll, that would go a long way in helping a team that is having a hard time finding goals.
Nashville will again be playing without two of their top-six forwards. Matthew Lombardi and David Legwand are out for Saturday night’s game. Legwand has been placed on injured reserve. Kevin Klein did not play on Friday. He left Minnesota with an illness and will be reevaluated on Saturday. If Klein remains ill, expect to see Alexander Sulzer in the lineup for the second game in a row.
The Rangers also have been battling some significant injuries. Captain Chris Drury is out of the lineup. He broke his finger in the middle of October and was expected to miss six weeks, so he should be making his way back into the lineup in the next week or so. Vinny Prospal had surgery on his right knee and will be sidelined for another month as a result on the injury.
Michal Rozsival and Derek Boogaard both missed Friday’s contest in Floriday with shoulder injuries. There is no word yet as to whether or not either player will be in the lineup on Saturday.
Since the Rangers are a team Nashville plays only once a year, Predators fans who may be unfamiliar with New York should watch out for rookie Derek Stepan, points leader Brandon Dubinsky (12 goals and 19 points), as well as the heart and soul of the Rangers, alternate captain Ryan Callahan.
Since Henrik Lundqvist played against Florida on Friday night, the Predators might see Rangers backup Marty Biron. Because the Predators are also playing their second game in a back to back, it would have made sense for Anders Lindback to get the start since the Rangers are in the Eastern Conference, even though Rinne played only one period in goal for the Predators on Friday. We could very well be looking at the battle of the backups Saturday night.
Including Saturday night, the Predators play two straight games at home, offering Nashville an opportunity to get on the right track heading into the month of December. But neither game will be easy to win. After the Rangers, the Predators play Phoenix who are currently running on a 7-game win streak.
Game time tonight is at 7 pm. Tickets are still available.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. The next Predators home game is tonight when the Preds take on the New York Rangers. Following the Rangers game, Phoenix comes to town on Tuesday night. Tickets are still available for both games.