Rangers-Predators Preview

The Associated Press

A hectic early schedule like the one the New York Rangers have played might be detrimental to most teams, but they've started to flourish away from home.

New York will try to win a sixth straight road game for the first time in more than seven years Saturday night against the Nashville Predators.

With Madison Square Garden undergoing renovations, the Rangers (11-11-0) traveled for their first nine games, losing six of the first eight by a 31-12 margin. They ended the trip, though, with a 3-2 victory over Detroit on Oct. 26, and haven't lost on the road since.

New York is 6 for 14 on power-play chances in its five straight road victories, with Rick Nash's first goal of the season coming on the team's lone man advantage in Thursday's 3-2 win at Dallas. The Rangers are scoring on 26.3 percent of their road power-play opportunities compared to 11.4 percent at home. Nashville could provide a challenge, however, having surrendered two goals at home on their opponents' last 21 power plays.

Ryan Callahan has five goals and two assists in his last five road games while Derek Stepan has five assists over his last four. Four of Carl Hagelin's nine points this season have come during the road win streak, which is now two shy of the franchise record.

The schedule will remain travel-heavy for a little longer, too, with Saturday marking the second stop on a five-game trip. The Rangers, 5-1-1 all-time at Nashville with three straight victories, haven't won six consecutive road games since Jan. 19-March 2, 2006.

Henrik Lundqvist recorded a season-high 41 saves, including 23 in the first period, in Thursday's victory. He has a 1.72 goals-against average in 10 starts since sitting out a week with an undisclosed injury.

"You can talk about him every single night," Nash said. "He was the best player on the ice and he was the difference."

Lundqvist could provide another dominant performance Saturday considering his 1.50 GAA in six career games versus the Predators is his lowest against any opponent. He's won all three of his starts in Nashville.

He was credited with an assist Thursday on Nash's first-period goal in the left winger's second game back since missing 17 with a concussion. Nash, one of three players who entered 2013-14 with at least eight consecutive 20-goal seasons, has four goals and six assists over his last eight games versus Nashville.

The Predators (11-9-2) have strung together three victories by a 13-4 margin after four straight defeats in which they were outscored 17-2. They're 5 for 15 on the power play over the last four after going scoreless on 14 chances during the skid.

Nashville, 5-2-1 at home, is coming off a 4-2 win at Toronto on Thursday. Craig Smith scored twice, including one of the club's two on the power play during a three-goal second period.

"Second period, I thought we locked down our structure, got on to our game plan a little bit better," coach Barry Trotz said. "We created some penalties, and our power play was real huge for us. I thought we locked down the game pretty good."

Smith's performance marked his second three-point game in three contests. He had recorded only one point over his previous eight games.

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