The New York Rangers’ third period surge this evening vaulted them to their fourth straight win, and for the first time this season, they have reached the .500 mark. Prior to the game starting, we had some pre-game festivities with the Rangers and Blue Jackets honoring Rick Nash for playing his 1000th game.
After an emotional video highlighting Nash’s career, gifts were exchanged, and both teams lined up for the opening faceoff moments later. With the Rangers coming off of three straight wins, including two overtime thrillers, they made a point of having a quick start this evening.
While they weren’t able to bury the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky, the Rangers led the period in shots 10-4 and locked down the defensive end. The Columbus Blue Jackets did have the puck for extended periods at times during the period, but the Rangers did an excellent job of keeping everything to the perimeter. That led to a pretty easy workload for Henrik Lundqvist through 20 minutes as the Rangers looked to build off of their first period performance.
Unfortunately, the Blue Jackets were the ones who responded early in the second period. Within the first minute of the second period, Artemi Panarin broke coverage in the high slot, and wired a shot past Henrik Lundqvist to make it a 1-0 game. The Rangers defensive woes continued shortly thereafter, with the Blue Jackets doubling up their lead courtesy of Josh Anderson.
Brady Skjei got caught skating to make a change at the red line and that left the entire right side of the ice open. Anderson was able to create a gap with his speed and snapped a shot past Lundqvist who was way off his angle on the shot. After falling down by a pair of goals, the Rangers finally got on the board with Michael Grabner’s sixth goal of season.
J.T. Miller created the entire goal with a ridiculous pass on his stomach as he was falling to the ice. It was a little bit lucky but it also took an immense amount of skill to stick with the play and somehow shovel the puck over to Grabner. Sergei Bobrovsky got a slight piece of the puck but it trickled over the goal line and made it a 2-1 game. The Rangers continued to pressure the Blue Jackets following the goal and had several more scoring opportunities.
However, Bobrovsky also continued to stand tall in the crease and kept this a one goal game heading into the third period. Then, the Rangers completely blew the doors off of this game in the third period. At the 5:10 mark of the third period, Kevin Shattenkirk evened the game at 2-2 on the power play with a wrist shot from just inside the blue line.
There was a slight blip on the radar with the Rangers giving back the goal at 8:01 coming from Oliver Bjorkstrand. But that lead wouldn’t last for very long, with the Rangers power play coming alive and rattling off two straight goals coming from Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich.
Following the scoring barrage, the Rangers fell back a bit and started to lock down the defensive zone. With the Blue Jackets pressuring and the goaltender pulled, the Rangers ice the game with an empty goal coming from Michael Grabner. Following two thrilling overtime victories in the state of Florida, the Rangers put up another solid effort this evening and have now won four straight games.
The Rangers will have a scheduled off day tomorrow before returning to Madison Square Garden on Wednesday evening to face the Boston Bruins.