Coming out of the All-Star break, the New York Rangers were well rested and looking to come out of the gates with a quick start. While the latter was partially true, the Rangers just couldn’t find a way to capitalize on their early pressure and that quickly came back to haunt them. Seth Jones was able to pick up his 8th goal of the season off of a soft wrist shot through a screen in front of Henrik Lundqvist.
Lundqvist never picked up the puck in time and it sailed over his shoulder to give the Jackets an early 1-0 lead. Even though the Rangers trailed, they were the better team following 20 minutes of play. Then, the wheels completely fell off in the second period. This is something that has become an alarming trend all season long and it stems from the terrible coverage in the defensive zone.
As a result of the Rangers collapse, the Blue Jackets were able to score four goals during the second period and took a commanding 5-0 lead. Henrik Lundqvist’s night came to an end after the third goal, which he completely whiffed on a glove save and dropped the rebound right in the crease. Whole Lundqvist was certainly at fault for the third goal, the other two that squeaked by weren’t due to poor play.
The Blue Jackets’ scoring barrage carried over into the third period, where Matt Calvert added on a sixth goal to make this a 6-0 game. After coming up empty throughout a majority of this game, the Rangers offense finally came alive shortly after the sixth goal and Jimmy Vesey’s 12th of the season made it 6-1. That goal clearly sparked the Rangers enough and resulted in two more goals coming from Michael Grabner and Chris Kreider to bring the Rangers back within three goals.
Following the third goal, the Blue Jackets settled down a bit after John Tortorella called a time out. They were able to keep the Rangers off the board for most of the second half of the period, until Kevin Klein eventually made a it a two goal game. Unfortunately, that’s as close as the Rangers would get in this game and they fell 6-4 to the Blue Jackets coming out of the All-Star break.
The Rangers will have tomorrow off before they head upstate for a meeting with the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday night.