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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Preds take Manhattan

The Preds shut down the Rangers 3-0 last night in Madison Square Garden. Nashville is now 3-3 and in third place in the Central Division standings.

I watched large segments of the game and was happy to see the Preds earn their third win in a row. I thought Vokoun played an outstanding game, and he was the primary reason they won. Lundqvist did not play poorly, but the Preds were able to capitalize on opportunities he and the Rangers defense gave them. Arnott's goal, the first tally, was a very accurate shot from his position on the ice, but I wonder if that is not a shot that Lundqvist should have corralled. (While Arnott shot at full speed, this shot reminded me of the floater that Sullivan slipped past Dunham against the Islanders the night before. In both cases, the goalie makes that save most of the time).

How do I describe the penalty kill? I'm not sure. The Preds killed several 5-on-3 advantages, but not all of that was great defense. Some of it was fortunate bounces of the puck. I'm concerned about the Preds winding up in numerous two-men-down situations in a single game. That will catch up with them sooner or later, and I'm surprised that it didn't last night while facing a talented power play squad. The Preds also didn't capitalize on a few 5-on-3 advantages of their own, and those are definitely missed opportunities.

All in all, this was a quality road win and another much needed two points as the Preds climb back out of the early-season cellar. I did note that the Rangers outshot the Preds 38-27, but most of that margin (7 shots) came in the third when the Preds were comfortably ahead.

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