Pärssinen’s 1st NHL goal leads Predators over Rangers 2-1

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Juuso Pärssinen scored his first NHL goal, Juuse Saros made 34 saves and the Nashville Predators beat the New York Rangers 2-1 on Saturday night.

Mark Jankowski also scored for Nashville, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

Filip Chytil scored and Jaroslav Halak made 16 saves for the Rangers, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

“I thought we played real hard,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. “We played well, lots of scoring chances, we just couldn’t put the puck behind Saros tonight.”

Pärssinen put Nashville in front 4:58 into the opening period, driving down the right side before beating Halak high to the far side.

“He came to play his game tonight as we all saw,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “He’s got great speed and pace to his game. He’s got good size. He’s got the strength and the body to be able to play at this level.”

Making his NHL debut after being recalled earlier in the day from Milwaukee of the AHL, Pärssinen’s goal came on his first shot on goal.

“Unreal feeling,” Pärssinen said. “It was a dream come true. I didn’t expect to score on my first shot, but I’ll take that every day. But the most important thing is we got the win, so that’s a huge win for us.”

Jankowski scored 8:37 into the second. He got his second of the season after Roman Josi intercepted an attempted clear by the Rangers before finding Jankowski all alone in front.

Chytil halved the Nashville lead at 11:56, scoring from the slot off of a smooth pass by Adam Fox from behind the Predators net.

With the assist, Fox extended his point streak to five games.

The Rangers could not find the equalizer though, despite a third-period double minor penalty for high sticking assessed to Nashville defenseman Jeremy Lauzon and pulling Halak for an extra attacker.

“Tonight, we played pretty well, Rangers forward Barclay Goodrow said. “We controlled the play, we just couldn’t score. It can get frustrating, but we can’t get down or let the frustration show. It’s all about moving on and being ready to play tomorrow.”

LATE PICK PAYS OFF

The Predators selected Pärssinen in the seventh round of the 2019 draft. He is playing his first season in North America. He had two goals and seven assists in 10 games for Milwaukee prior to his promotion.

RANGERS STREAKS SNAPPED

In the loss, New York’s Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider had their seven-game point streaks stopped. Over the previous seven games, Zibanejad had 10 points (five goals, five assists) and Kreider had nine (four goals, five assists).

HOME COOKING

It was Nashville’s first home game in two weeks. A quick one-game trip to Detroit to play the Red Wings on Nov. 23 will be the only time the Predators will leave Music City through the end of the month.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Sunday.

Predators: Host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday.

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