Anders Lindback’s losing streak continued. As a result, the Nashville Predators’ win streak ended.
Lindback matched his season-high with 26 saves but lost his fourth straight NHL game as the Predators fell 3-0 to the New York Rangers on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden.
Lindback started in place of Pekka Rinne, who defeated the New York Islanders a day earlier. That was Nashville’s fifth straight victory and equaled the team’s longest win streak of the season.
The Rangers, who have the best record in the Eastern Conference, foiled the Predators’ bid to win six in a row for the first time since last March.
Lindback has not won since a relief appearance Dec. 1 at Vancouver, and his last victory in a start was Nov. 28 at Edmonton. The 23-year-old did win one game in two appearances with Milwaukee during a conditioning assignment in the AHL earlier this month.
His record is now 2-5-0 in nine appearances, which matches the number of regulation losses he endured in 22 appearances all of last season. He was 11-5-2 in 2010-11, his first NHL season.
Of course, his teammates offered no offensive support this time despite being outshot just 29-27. It was just the second time this season the Predators were held scoreless. The first was Nov. 29 at Calgary.
Nashville’s best opportunity to score came when New York’s Marian Gaborik was incorrectly assessed a double-minor for high sticking with 1:19 to go in the second period. That negated the remaining 1:43 of a Rangers power play and created an extended advantage for the Predators early in the third.
Dan Girardi and John Mitchell each scored against Lindback. Girardi’s goal went off of defenseman Jack Hillen.
New York’s final goal was awarded to Ryan Callahan with 51 seconds remaining when he was pulled down on a breakaway after Lindback had been pulled in favor of an extra attacker.
Defenseman Ryan Suter missed his second straight game with an upper body injury.