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Rangers need Rick Nash to start scoring goals

New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash skates

New York Rangers left wing Rick Nash skates with the puck against the Calgary Flames during an NHL game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2015. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Associate coach Scott Arniel has seen Rick Nash up close more than anyone on the Rangers staff. He was behind the bench in Columbus during the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons, when Nash scored 62 goals, and has been in New York since the summer of 2013.

This season, through 10 games, Nash has had trouble finding the net. In the slowest start of his NHL career, Nash has just one goal, and that was awarded to him after he was hindered on a breakaway while skating toward an empty net against Arizona last Thursday. Last season, Nash had eight goals in his first 10 games.

Arniel isn't concerned about Nash, who has 90 goals in 198 regular-season games as a Ranger.

According to numbers compiled by the team, Arniel said after practice Tuesday, "he's got 17 primary scoring chances, that's No. 1; Kreids [Chris Kreider] is No. 2 with 14. It's not like they're not getting their opportunities. Nasher, you know he never cheats anywhere else on the ice, you know he's going to give you that effort, he just has to get one. When he gets one, he gets bunches, they come in big numbers."

The Rangers, who don't play again until Toronto visits on Friday, need scoring from Nash, who has 32 shots on goal, just seven behind the league leader, Edmonton's Taylor Hall (entering Tuesday). Nash has two assists. Only two players, rookie Oscar Lindberg (5) and Mats Zuccarello (4) have more than three goals and the team ranks 14th in goals per game.

"I think once he [Nash] gets that sort of . . . weight off his back," said Arniel, "they'll come."

Notes & quotes: Viktor Stalberg, still sidelined with what the team said was a head injury after Radko Gudas' hit in Philadelphia on Saturday, skated lightly after practice and is described as day-to-day.


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