Nick Spaling and Rich Clune scored first-period goals, and seldom-used backup Carter Hutton made 28 saves as the Nashville Predators snapped a five -game losing streak by beating the New York Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Hutton (5-3-1) made his first start since Nov. 10 and his third appearance in that span as the Predators try to get by while Pekka Rinne (hip) is out. Marek Mazanec went 0-4-1 in the previous five ga mes.
Matt Hendricks made it 3-1 just 2:38 into the third, knocking in a loose puck from in front, with Clune earning an assist. Paul Gaustad scored an emptynet goal with 1:06 left and added two assists.
Rick Nash cut New York ’s deficit in ha lf in the second period and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 22 shots, but the Rangers fell to 0-2-1 on their nine-game homestand. They have dropped four straight at Madison Square Garden (0 -3 -1).
Despite a team meeting after their 4-1 loss to Washington on Sunday, several lineup changes and a call-up from the AHL, the R a ngers ca me out flat in the fi rst period a nd fell into a 2-0 hole. New York (15-16-1) added veteran forward Arron Asham to the lineup, but the Rangers still can’t find consistency to their game.
Nashville was hardly impressive or overly aggressive, but the Predators made the most of their chances and scored twice with only six shots.