for this game

Vokoun records shutout as Predators blank Rangers

Oct 19, 2006 - 1:49 AM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Tomas Vokoun continues to make his disappointing start to the campaign a distant memory.

Vokoun made 38 saves for his first shutout of the season and the Nashville Predators received goals from three different players en route to their third straight victory, a 3-0 triumph over the New York Rangers.

After surrendering 13 goals in losing his first two starts, Vokoun did not play against the Chicago Blackhawks last Thursday. Since then, he has allowed just two tallies on 95 shots in winning his past three outings.

"Sometimes, you get tough starts not playing for a while," Vokoun said. "For me, the preseason wasn't really hard. Every game I played in, we won by five or six goals, so I guess I wasn't really prepared for what was coming."

In addition to shutting down New York on three 5-on-3 power plays, Vokoun made a chest save on Matt Cullen's breakaway before turning aside Brendan Shanahan's rebound attempt early in the third period.

"Obviously, you don't want to give up three 5-on-3's in a game, but the guys didn't break," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought Tomas was fantastic. I give full credit to the penalty killing. The guys were diving and making plays, blocking shots."

Nashville opened the scoring midway through the first period when Jason Arnott one-timed Martin Erat's feed from the left faceoff circle, finding the top-left corner past goaltender Henrik Lundqvist.

"(Defenseman Marek Zidlicky) made a really good pass out of our zone to Marty (Erat)," Arnott said. "He entered the zone and waited, waited, waited till I got in good shooting position, and I just put it on net."

Playing just his third game of the season, Scott Nichol gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 9:42 of the second period by passing the puck to himself off the right boards, skating in on Lundqvist and sliding the puck just inside the left goalpost.

"I just tried to chip it off the wall, and with the new rules, they cannot hook and hold you," Nichol said. "I just skated around him and Steve Sullivan was going back door. Their defenseman went right to him. I was looking to pass it, but the lane opened up to the net and I just put it in far side."

Nashville extended the lead with 1:48 remaining in the second session while Rangers defenseman Fedor Tyutin was serving a hooking penalty.

Scottie Upshall made a centering feed from behind the net to Jerred Smithson, who fired a snap shot from the right circle to the blocker side of the net.

"It was nice to contribute on the offense," Smithson said. "We have a lot of guys who can put the puck in the net. Every time we can get a defensive guy to contribute, it is definitely a bonus."

Despite outshooting the Predators, 38-27, the Rangers failed to score on eight attempts with the man advantage in their only matchup with Nashville this season.

"That was probably the key to the game," Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr said. "It's tough to say. The shots just didn't go in. ... We played pretty well, but we just didn't score goals."

Lundqvist stopped 24 shots for the Rangers, who are winless in their last five home matchups against the Predators. New York also was shut out by Nashville for the first time.

"In the second period, when we had a 5-on-3, if we could have scored there, it probably would have been a completely different game," Lundqvist said. "We would have probably gotten some energy from it. (Nashville) scored some important goals in the second period. It was a tough loss for us."

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!