New York Rangers drop season opener to Nashville
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The rebuilding New York Rangers took to the ice for the first time in 2018-19, falling to the Nashville Predators. 

Dom Renna

  • Nashville Predators: 3 (1-0-0, 2 points)
  • New York Rangers: 2 (0-1-0, 0 points)
  • NSH Goals: Filip Forsberg (1), P.K. Subban (1), Colton Sissons (1)
  • NYR Goals: Jesper Fast (1), Pavel Buchnevich (1)
  • Final. NHL. Boxscore
  • Madison Square Garden, NY, New York

The start of the hockey season always brings hope, and the way the New York Rangers played in their opening night game brought just that.

Despite falling to the Predators 3-2, the hope that comes out of this game is that it might not be as bad of a season that everyone is making it out to be.

It was a Ranger team tonight that played with structure and fought to the end against the reigning President’s Trophy winner. A game that saw them fight all the way to the end led by Henrik Lundqvist and Jesper Fast.

Speaking of Lundqvist, Ranger fans will sign up for two goals allowed with 30 saves from the 36-year-old netminder all season. It was a vintage Lundqvist performance, who reminded all that he won’t let this ship go down easily.

Jesper Fast scored the Rangers first goal of the night off a great cycle from his linemates Filip Chytil and Ryan Spooner.

This was a game that saw both teams trade scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. The difference, Lundqvist and Pekka Rinne. Rinne made 34 saves on the night, including four saves on Jimmy Vesey who was the Rangers best forward on the night.

During the final minutes of this one, the Rangers found themselves with a glorious chance to tie the game on the power play with the extra attacker, but there was just one problem. They too got called for a penalty, a penalty for having too many men on the ice.

Nashville would get one into the empty net to push their lead to 3-1. Pavel Buchnevich would deflect a Mika Zibanejad shot from the point with 34.1 seconds to go in regulation to cut the lead to one, but that’s all the Blueshirts could do.

It was a positive first game for the Blueshirts who stayed with one of the best teams the NHL has to offer. This might be a rebuild, but if they can hang around with the teams the way they did tonight, this might not be so painful after all.

The Rangers will hit the road this weekend for their first back-to-back scenario of the season when they take on the Buffalo Sabres Saturday night in Buffalo.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.