December 17, 2019 / 3:00 AM / a month ago

D Josi delivers big offense as Preds top Rangers

EditorsNote: rewords sixth and last grafs

Dec 16, 2019; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) gives up a goal to Nashville Predators right wing Rocco Grimaldi (not pictured) during the first period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Defenseman Roman Josi collected two goals and an assist, and Juuse Saros made a season-high 39 saves as the Nashville Predators began a four-game road trip with a 5-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Monday night.

Rocco Grimaldi scored in the first period for Nashville, and Josi and Matthias Ekholm tallied in the second as the Predators rebounded nicely from getting booed by their home fans on Saturday in a 4-1 loss to the Dallas Stars.

Josi added a second goal by scoring into an empty net with 1:49 remaining, and Ryan Ellis scored Nashville’s second empty-net goal with five seconds to go.

Chris Kreider scored in the first period and Artemi Panarin tallied late in the third for the Rangers, who dropped their third straight home game and went 0-for-4 on the power play.

New York backup goaltender Alexandar Georgiev finished with 19 saves as the Rangers dropped consecutive games for the first time since Nov. 14-16 in Tampa Bay and Florida.

Nashville took a 1-0 lead at 10:36 of the first period when Grimaldi’s shot from the right circle deflected off New York defenseman Brady Skjei’s left skate and under Georgiev. The Rangers tied it 34 seconds later when Mika Zibanejad stripped the puck from Nashville’s Ryan Johansen, and Kreider finished off an odd-man rush.

Panarin nearly scored 2:20 into the second, but his shot did not cross the goal line, and the original call was upheld via replay. His shot deflected past Saros but stopped at the goal line.

After Panarin nearly scored, Nashville went up 3-1 by scoring twice in a span of 5:07 later in the second.

Following a turnover by Rangers defenseman Jacob Trouba, Josi slid a wrist shot under defenseman Adam Fox’s legs and off Georgiev’s arm. Ekholm made it 3-1 just 12 seconds after finishing serving a cross-checking penalty by scoring on a breakaway as he went to his forehand to slip a wrist shot over Georgiev’s right shoulder.

Panarin made it a one-goal game by scoring for a fifth straight game when he put a wrist shot from the middle of the slot past Saros with 2:42 remaining in the third, but Nashville finished it off with two long empty-net goals.

—Field Level Media

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