All good things come to an end and the New York Rangers will look to rebound on Friday night vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Rangers, 9-8-2 and 20 points, head into Columbus off a loss but are 7-3-0 in their last 10 contests. The Rangers currently sit one point out of a playoff spot, and a victory would put them ahead of the Washington Capitals.
The major news for the Rangers coming off the loss is the return of Brendan Smith to the lineup. Steven Kampfer will sit after skating in Smith's spot for the previous six games.
Line 1: Chris Kreider — Mika Zibanejad — Pavel Buchnevich
Line 2: Rick Nash — Kevin Hayes — Mats Zuccarello
Line 3: Jimmy Vesey — David Desharnais — J.T. Miller
Line 4: Michael Grabner — Boo Nieves — Jesper Fast
Pair 1: Ryan McDonagh — Nick Holden
Pair 2: Brady Skjei — Kevin Shattenkirk
Pair 3: Marc Staal — Brendan Smith
Goalie: Henrik Lundqvist
Stats to Consider
This is the third meeting this season between the Rangers and Blue Jackets. On October 13, the Blue Jackets defeated the Rangers by a score of 3-1 at Nationwide Arena. On November 6, the Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets by a score of 5-3 at Madison Square Garden.
Lundqvist will be between the pipes for his 20th career game vs. the Blue Jackets and has a lifetime record of 11-6-1 with a .908 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against average according to Hockey-Reference.
The Rangers' No. 3 power play will be going up against the Blue Jackets' No. 14 penalty kill unit. This is something the Rangers will look to capitalize on, especially after the lack of production on the power play vs. the Blackhawks. Conversely, the Blue Jackets are trying to break out on the man-advantage unit as they sit dead last in the NHL with a power play success rate of 9.3%. The Blue Jackets are the only team in the league with a single-digit success rate.
Rangers to Watch
Rick Nash is heating up for the Rangers and has scored five goals and added two assists for seven points in his last six games. Prior to this stretch, Nash had two goals and four points in 13 games.
Kevin Shattenkirk has been equally hot for the Rangers with three goals and four assists for seven points in his last six games played. Year to date Shattenkirk ranks third among defenders with 17 points in 19 games played.
Enjoy the game, and be sure to check Blueshirt Banter for a recap after the game, and tomorrow for some notes reflecting on the game.