Following a clean sweep of Western Canada, the Rangers three game winning streak was snapped at the hands of the Columbus Blue Jackets. This was the first time in quite a while that the Rangers have put up fewer than three goals, and the Blue Jackets did a great job all night long. The Rangers weren’t able to use their speed as they have been, with the Blue Jackets clogging up lanes all over the ice.
Following a relatively boring start to the game, the Blues Jackets were able to convert off of a costly turnover, and made it a 1-0 game. J.T. Miller’s stretch pass was picked off just inside the blue line, and William Karlsson walked the puck into the open ice. Before hitting the hash marks, Karlsson unloaded a slap shot that wound up beating Henrik Lundqvist between the legs.
As costly as the turnover was, the goal against by Lundqvist was one that he probably wanted back right as it hit the back of the net. Later on in the second period, it was yet another turnover that ended up in the back of the net, and Columbus took the 2-0 lead early in the period. On the goal, the Jackets did catch a bit of a fortunate bounce as the puck chipped up in the air and rolled down Lundqvist’s back.
Thankfully, the Rangers were able to respond a few moments later courtesy of Michael Grabner, who scored his 11th goal of the season. This was the first time all game the Rangers were able to jump on the counter attack, and made Columbus pay with their speed. Following the goal, the Rangers appeared to have settled in a bit more, which eventually led to the game tying goal in the third period.
At the 8:32 mark of the third period, Brady Skjei sent a beautiful centering feed over to Mika Zibanejad, who absolutely blasted the puck over Sergei Bobrovsky. Momentum started to swing heavily in the Rangers favor after the tying goal, and the Rangers quickly went on the power play with a chance to take the lead. Unfortunately, it worked against them, as Columbus was able to catch a favorable bounce which led to a 2-on-1 the other way.
Matt Calvert, who received 30 stitches after taking a puck to the face earlier in the game, was credited with the goal. He was able to fire a bullet of a shot just under the block of Lundqvist, and the Blue Jackets grabbed the final lead of the evening. With the goaltender pulled, the Rangers couldn’t generate much until the final seconds. Sergei Bobrovsky came up with a huge save on Chris Kreider’s deflection in front, and kept the Jackets afloat.
Boone Jenner officially closed out the scoring with a little over a second remaining after tapping the puck into the empty net. Following a mini four game road trip, the Rangers will return home to Madison Square Garden on Sunday night for a meeting with the Florida Panthers.