Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates a goal with teammates...

Rangers center Vincent Trocheck (16) celebrates a goal with teammates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Nashville Predators, Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023, in Nashville, Tenn. Credit: AP/George Walker IV

NASHVILLE — Vincent Trocheck contributed to each of the Rangers’ goals in their 4-3 win over the Predators on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena. He assisted on the first two, scored the third and was battling with Nashville defenseman Jeremy Lauzon when Ryan Lindgren’s shot/ pass banked in off Lauzon’s skate and beat Nashville goalie Kevin Lankinen at 5:10 of the third period for what proved to be the game-winner.

“He really cranked it up,’’ Peter Laviolette said. “He played a great game. I really liked the line that we put together, it was Trocheck and [Jonny] Brodzinski. I thought that they did a lot of good things out there. They’re fast, they’re on the forecheck in the offensive zone. So they made some big plays.’’

Trocheck had been centering the Rangers’ best line, between wingers Artemi Panarin and Alexis Lafreniere, but when Laviolette decided to change things, he put No. 1 center Mika Zibanejad between those two and moved Trocheck to a new line with Chris Kreider on the left and Brodzinski on the right.

“It was just a wake-up call,’’ Trocheck said. “After the first period, we were bad, so he had to do something to kind of spark us, and changing up the lines was what he went with.’’  

A Quick return?

With the Rangers playing the Sharks at home Sunday, Laviolette started Igor Shesterkin in goal, which suggests he might go with Jonathan Quick on Sunday.

“I think standard practice is . . . you play your starter in the first game, and that second game oftentimes is built for a backup,’’ Laviolette said when asked if there is a rule of thumb on how to split goalies in a back-to-back. “There’s things that change that. It could be a division game in the second game, [or] it could be numbers, career numbers for a goaltender [against a particular opponent] that might switch it. But we’ll just go day to day with our group. Both goaltenders are playing extremely well.’’

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