Alexei Lafreniere’s goal lifts Rangers past Predators

Alexei Lafreniere’s goal lifts Rangers past Predators

Alexei Lafreniere scored the tiebreaking goal with 9:07 remaining in the third period and the visiting New York Rangers earned a spirited 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.

The Rangers won their third straight game and are 3-0-1 since opening the season with a 5-1 loss at Washington on Oct. 13.

Filip Chytil scored, Barclay Goodrow tallied into an empty net in the final seconds and Sammy Blais set up both goals for the Rangers, who survived going 0-for-4 on the power play and hitting three posts in the opening 40 minutes. The Rangers also had a goal by defenseman Ryan Lindgren negated when Nashville challenged an offsides call.

Igor Shesterkin turned in another strong performance by stopping 28 shots in a game that featured plenty of hard hits and scoring chances.

Philip Tomasino scored his first career goal in his second NHL game and Juuse Saros stopped 27 shots as Nashville ended a season-opening four-game homestand with one win and played its fourth straight game decided by two goals or fewer.

Lafreniere scored by finishing off a terrific passing sequence that came after a defensive play by Fox. Fox intercepted a pass by Nashville defenseman Alexandre Carrier near the neutral zone, sped through the offensive zone and whipped a pass to Blais through the slot.

When Saros went down to anticipate the save, Blais quickly backhanded the puck to Lafreniere, who finished it off by hammering a wrist shot from the left circle into the vacated left side of the net.

New York went ahead 2:12 into the game when Blais got a pass from Lafreniere and fed Chytil with a pass near the boards in the neutral zone. Chytil finished off the play from the right circle by getting past defenseman Matt Benning and lifted a backhander over Saros 2:12 in.

The Rangers held the lead until Tomasino scored 7:01 into the second by retrieving the loose puck of his own rebound. He hustled behind the right side of the net, sent a wrist shot past Chris Kreider and banked it off Shesterkin’s left leg.

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