NEW YORK (AP) Cole Smith scored twice in the first period, and the Nashville Predators beat the New York Rangers 4-1 on Thursday night.

Ryan O'Reilly and Filip Forsberg also scored for Nashville, and Juuse Saros, starting for fifth time in five games this season, finished with 23 saves.

“We were fast and we dictated the pace," Forsberg said. "Our backchecking was very good. ... We wanted to set the pace and we did.”

Adam Fox scored for the Rangers. Igor Shesterkin, starting for the fourth time in four games, was pulled in the second period after giving up four goals on 18 shots. Jonathan Quick, signed to be the backup in the offseason, stopped all nine shots he faced in his season debut.

“Definitely our worst game of the season to this point. We were not good enough,” New York captain Jacob Trouba said. “We got outworked, we got outbattled, we got outplayed, we got beat. ... They were good, they were fast, but I don’t think we were up to speed.”

The Predators were successful in clogging the middle of the ice and keeping most of the Rangers' chances to the perimeter.

“They're really good in front of the net, good at tipping, so we tried to keep them to the outside,” Nashville's Roman Josi said. “They have a lot of skill, don't want to give them too much room, but we did a good job of not giving them too many Grade-A (chances).”

With the Rangers trailing 4-1 after two periods, Artemi Panarin fired a shot from the right side that beat Saros but hit the crossbar 4 1/2 minutes into the third.

Vincent Trocheck appeared to pull New York within two with about eight minutes remaining, but the goal was overturned after Nashville challenged for offside on the play.

Just 7 seconds into Nashville's second power play of the night, O'Reilly got a pass from Luke Evangelista and beat Shesterkin from the right side to push the lead to 3-0 at 3:32 of the second period. It was O'Reilly's second of the season and the Predators' third in 19 chances with the man advantage.

Shesterkin stopped a breakaway try by Juuso Parssinen 2 1/2 minutes later to preserve the three-goal deficit.

“We gave up eight odd-man rushes," Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. "We have to eliminate high-risk plays. Tonight a lot of components weren’t good enough or missing.”

Forsberg made it 4-0 on the Predators' next power play as he fired a shot from the right circle past Shesterkin into the top left corner with 6:09 left in the middle period. That ended Shesterkin's night.

The Rangers had a two-man advantage late in the second and Fox took advantage as his pass through the crease from the left side deflected in off the right leg of sprawled Nashville defenseman Ryan McDonagh with 42 seconds left. It gave the Rangers a power-play goal in each of their four games this season.

The Predators got on the scoreboard with 8:36 remaining in the opening period. Tyson Barrie fired a shot from right point that Michael McCarron deflected in front over Shesterkin's pad, and Smith reached and poked in the loose puck for his first of the season before falling over the goalie and into the net.

“Accidental contact ... it's part of the game,” Smith said. “We wanted to crash the net and establish ourselves there. Stuff like that is going to happen.”

Smith got his second of the night as he came out of the penalty box, picked up an errant pass from the Rangers' K'Andre Miller, skated in on a breakaway and fired it past Shesterkin.


After coming in with four goals in 82 NHL games, Smith had his first multigoal effort.


Fox’s goal was his first of the season and extended his season-opening point streak to four games. ... Artemi Panarin had an assist on the play, extending his point streak to four games. Zibanejad also had an assist on the goal, his fifth.


Predators: Host San Jose on Saturday night to open a three-game homestand.

Rangers: At Seattle on Saturday night to open a five-game West Coast trip.



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