Rangers-Rick Nash: It's hard to imagine that Rick Nash could have played much better then he did his first two games back in the lineup following a 17-game absence due to a head injury. Nash has been assertive, on the puck consistently, generating reems of scoring chances for himself and his linemates, and has done all this while still working his way back into peak condition. It is true he has missed a high percentage of his shot attempts, but he is getting open and generating these opportunities. As soon as his timing returns, if he keeps playing at this level, the results are going to be quite pleasing to the Rangers. Nash scored his first goal of the season Thursday in Dallas--on a power play breakaway---and made a great move on a penalty shot that was thwarted by Kari Lehtonen. Nash has four points (1-3-4) in five games played and seems primed for a breakout soon enough. In 51 career games against Nashville, Nash has scored 20 goals.
Predators-Matt Cullen: The former Ranger had a big game in Toronto Thursday, recording a four-point night (1-3-4) in the victory over the Maple Leafs. The 37 year-old Cullen has six points in his last three games (2-4-6), scoring with great economy--two goals on four shots. On the season so far Cullen has four goals, six assists, and ten points in 22 games after notching only seven goals and 27 points in 42 contests a year ago. Nashville is Cullen's seventh team over a 16-year career that has now totaled 1,095 games. Cullen spent one season with the Blueshirts, 2006-07, when he notched 41 points (16-25-41) in 80 games before moving on to Carolina. A solid two-way player who has scored more than 20 goals only once in his career, Cullen still has the speed and battle level to give the Rangers---against whom he has 15 points in 30 career matches--headaches Saturday night.