December 30, 2018 / 4:46 AM / in 5 months

Rangers hand Predators sixth straight loss

Jesper Fast scored his second goal of the game with 12:25 remaining, Mika Zibanejad collected a career-best four assists and the New York Rangers held on for a 4-3 victory over the host Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

Fast scored the tiebreaking goal to cap a terrific sequence where all five Rangers on the ice touched the puck.

Defenseman Adam McQuaid sent the puck from the defensive zone hard off the end boards and out of goaltender Pekka Rinne’s reach. Brady Skjei retrieved the loose puck and quickly fed Chris Kreider, who whipped the puck to Zibanejad.

Zibanejad emerged from behind the net on the right wing and centered the pass for Fast, who finished the sequence by lifting a one-timer from the high slot past Rinne.

Fast returned from missing five games due to an upper-body injury and recorded his third career two-goal game as the Rangers posted their first regulation road win.

Kreider scored a power-play goal early in the first, defenseman Marc Staal also tallied for the Rangers while Kevin Hayes ran his career-high points streak to nine games with an assist on Kreider’s team-leading 20th goal.

Henrik Lundqvist made 34 saves, including a point-blank stop on Roman Josi with 23 seconds left after Nashville pulled Rinne.

Nick Bonino scored a pair of power-play goals for Nashville, which is on its first six-game losing streak since Feb. 26 to March 7, 2015. Kevin Fiala scored the other goal for the Predators, who lost for only the second time in 20 games when taking a lead into the third.

The Rangers opened the scoring less than three minutes in when Kreider redirected Zibanejad’s pass from the low slot by Rinne. Nashville tied the score 6:01 later when Bonino tipped Mattias Ekholm’s one-timer from the low slot by Lundqvist’s stick.

The Rangers took a 2-1 lead 3:51 into the second period, thanks to Kreider forcing a turnover behind the Nashville net on Ekholm. After Kreider pressured Ekholm into the giveaway, he dished it to Zibanejad and Fast converted a centering pass.

Less than a minute later, the Predators tied it for the second time when Fiala finished off a two-on-one by putting a wrist shot from the right circle under Lundqvist’s pads.

Bonino scored his second goal with 9:25 left in the second but Staal finished off a three-on-two by putting a wrist shot by Rinne about three minutes before Fast’s second goal, which came in the third period.

—Field Level Media

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