It was The Coach in Black who managed to quiet down the Music City on a Saturday night.

With Rangers coach Alain Vigneault sporting what he called his “Johnny Cash Suit,” his team went out and absolutely shutdown the Predators, earning a 2-0 win at Bridgestone Arena that was diminished to little more than whispers and echoes.

“Our guys were focused and ready right from the start,” Vigneault said, after cracking everyone up by giving credit for the win to his black tie, black shirt, and black suit — nothing but the boots missing from an authentic Cash costume. “We didn’t give Nashville a whole hell of a lot of scoring opportunities.”
It was 17 shots on goal, to be precise, the lowest shot total allowed by the Rangers (12-11-0) this season — an even more encouraging sign after allowing 43 shots on Thursday in Dallas, a 3-2 win to open this five-game road trip. And that diminished number sounded just fine to backup goalie Cam Talbot, who stopped all of them en route to his second shutout in as many starts, the career of this 26-year-old first-year pro now six games old and off to an unimaginably good beginning.

“I can get used to this,” said Talbot, who went to college just a 90-minute drive away from Nashville in Alabama-Huntsville and has won five of his first six games while allowing six goals on 158 total shots.
“Another strong game,” Vigneault said of Talbot. “When he was asked make some saves, he did make some saves.”

The biggest reason Talbot didn’t have a ton of work was because of a dominating performance from defenseman Ryan McDonagh. In front of the general manager of the U.S. Olympic team, David Poile — who is also the general manager of the Predators — McDonagh put on a performance that not just puts his name in ink on the roster, but is an encouraging sign for the chances of Americans in Russia come February.