J.T. Miller's two goals fuel the New York Rangers in win over Nashville (Highlights) 2
Feb 9, 2017; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers left wing J.T. Miller (10) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal during the second period against the Nashville Predators at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner, J.T. Miller line fueled the New York Rangers in a comeback victory against the Nashville Predators.

  • New York Rangers 4 (35-18-1, 71 pts)
  • Nashville Predators 3 (26-19-8, 60 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
This eastern-western conference clash at Madison Square Garden couldn’t have started off worse for the home team if Gary Bettman decided to officiate the game himself.

Just 3:50 into the second frame, the New York Rangers found themselves staring at a 2-0 deficit. Cody McLeod scored near the end of the first period on a rebound (one that came via a Marc Staal turnover and a very soft front-net presence) and Calle Jarnkrok capitalized on the power-play.

The one little problem for the Preds came in the form of 13-10-40, the best line in hockey.

Kevin Hayes, Michael Grabner and J.T. Miller generated the next two goals in the game, propelling the Blueshirts to a clutch tie score after two periods of play.

First, Hayes found Grabner after a turnover for his team-leading 26th goal of the campaign:

Then, over six minutes later, a Grabner defensive play led to Hayes finding Miller for the equalizer, his 17th:

The two teams skated at 2-2 early in the third until Mats Zuccarello very harmlessly threw a puck towards the front of the net — one that was deflected by Chris Kreider. It came at the 5:36 mark and even with the impending challenge from the Preds (possible offsides), gave the Rangers a lead they would not relent. For Kreider, the tally now marks a season-high (21 goals).

With under minutes to go in regulation, Miller added another one for good measure. It came on a Ryan McDonagh shot and now gives the man 18 points over his last 21 games.

While, at the time, it seemed Miller’s second goal was a tack on, it actually turned out to be the game-winner. The Preds were able to cut the lead to one when Roman Jossi capitalized on the power play after Brady Skjei took a tough penalty. 

Though he gave up two goals, Henrik Lundqvist continued his renaissance. In stopping 34 of the 37 shots he was tasked with, Hank made the save he needed to while only allowing the toughies to sneak past him.

On the other side, Juuse Saros controlled 26 of the 30 Rangers shots he was tasked with.

Notes:

The Rangers have now won four in a row and seven of their last nine games.

Hayes collected three assists in the contest and finished as the No. 1 star. Miller was the second star while Grabner received third-star status. The entire line skated onto the Garden ice after the win.

The win now moves New York to just one point of the third-place Pittsburgh Penguins in the Metro. Saturday night will mark the last game of the current four-game homestand when the Rangers welcome in the Colorado Avalanche.

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