Just like they drew it up.
The New York Rangers, who were down 4-1 early in the second period, overcame a three goal deficit to stun the Columbus Blue Jackets. Adam Clendening came up huge for the Rangers with two goals to bring them back even at 4-4, and Michael Grabner finished the job by notching the game-winning goal.
If you were watching this game from the start, the Rangers dug themselves into quite the hole during the opening five minutes. Markus Nutivaara and Cam Atkinson scored about two minutes apart and gave the Blue Jackets an early 2-0 lead. Thankfully, Oscar Lindberg was able to stop the bleeding near the end of the period, and brought the Rangers back within a goal.
However, that would last only about two minutes as Sam Gagner abused Kevin Klein in the corner and quickly fed the puck out to Scott Hartnell. Hartnell, who was left undetected in front of the net, deflected the puck out of the air and slipped the puck in behind Henrik Lundqvist.
The Blue Jackets wouldn’t stop just there though, and they added on yet another insurance goal coming from Lukas Sedlak. Scott Hartnell was able to setup the goal by flipping the puck to an empty area, and Sedlak finished it off by beating the Rangers to the puck. At this point, this game wasn’t looking like something the Rangers could find a way to salvage.....until Adam Clendening and Michael Grabner showed up to the party.
About a minute after Sedlak’s goal, Michael Grabner cut the lead in half with a wicked wrister from just inside the faceoff circle. Then, in the third period, Adam Clendening scored a pair of goals about 11 minutes apart and brought the Rangers back to even terms. Just coming back to tie this game was stunning enough, but the Rangers clearly weren’t satisfied with just getting to overtime.
That was went Michael Grabner picked off a mishandled pass from Seth Jones, and absolutely flew down the ice. Grabner not only blew past Jones, but also split two Columbus defenders who had a bit of a head start. After breaking away from the pack, Grabner quickly made a move to his backhand and lofted a shot just under the crossbar to give the Rangers a miraculous 5-4 lead.
The Rangers were able to kill off the remaining time following Grabner’s goal, and somehow earned the win in this game. As bad as the Rangers were in the early going, they certainly made up for it during the second half of the game. They were like a completely different team and it was as if they flipped a switch following Columbus’ fourth goal.
Now the Rangers can sit back and relax for the next five days, as they enjoy their mandatory bye week. The Rangers next game won’t be until next Friday, when they welcome in Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs into Madison Square Garden.