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Rangers vs Blue Jackets: Alexandar Georgiev Steals a Win in Columbus

New York Rangers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers somehow survived in Columbus this evening as they held on to their 3-2 lead, and came away with two points. Alexandar Georgiev played out of his mind tonight, and was the sole reason the Rangers even had a chance to win this game. He made several highlight reel saves, including a post-to-post sprawling save late in the third period. It was also Artemi Panarin’s first return to Columbus, and he was credited with the game winning goal.

1st Period

Cam Atkinson (5) - Nick Foligno (9) - 12:43 1st Period

Columbus is a team that throws everything at the net, and that was very evident during the opening period in this game. One of those shots eventually slipped through Georgiev as Cam Atkinson picked up his fifth goal of the season.

Brady Skjei wound up breaking his stick on an attempted shot, and was forced to retreat back into the zone with no stick in his hands. Unfortunately, the puck made its way over to Cam Atkinson, and Brady Skjei was the closest defenseman in the vicinity. With little time to make a decision, Skjei was unable to get in front of the shot and Atkinson was able to slip the puck under Georgiev.

Brendan Lemieux (5) - Mika Zibanejad (10) & Kaapo Kakko (6) - 19:52 1st Period

Near the end of the period, the Rangers finally got their legs going in the offensive zone and they were rewarded for their efforts. Kaapo Kakko did an excellent job of going hard on the forecheck, and forced Nick Foligno to cough up the puck behind the net. Mika Zibanejad collected the loose puck and found Brendan Lemieux in the high slot with an absurd between-the-legs pass out front. Lemieux got the shot off while falling, and the puck just barely rolled over the goal line to tie up the game.

2nd Period

Jacob Trouba (4) PPG - Adam Fox (10) & Ryan Strome (18) - 5:46 2nd Period

The second period was the best the Rangers looked in this game, and they were able to pick up a pair of goals during the middle frame. After reverting back to their previous power play combinations, you could tell the Rangers were much more comfortable with the man-advantage. After a nice offensive zone cycle, the puck worked its way over to Jacob Trouba, who wired a wrist shot off of the post and in behind Joonas Korpisalo.

Artemi Panarin (13) - Tony DeAngelo (12) & Brett Howden (5) - 15:32 2nd Period

About ten minutes after Trouba’s tie-breaking tally, Artemi Panarin did what he does best and picked up his team-leading 13th goal. Brett Howden, Tony DeAngelo, and Panarin connected on a beautiful tic-tac-toe play that started in the corner, and Panarin finished it off with a wide open net. Tony DeAngelo also did an excellent job of freezing Korpisalo in the crease by holding the puck, and then slipping it over to Panarin.

3rd Period

Seth Jones (4) - Dean Kukan (3) - 3:33 3rd Period

Despite the Rangers breaking through twice in the second period, Columbus quickly pushed the Rangers back on their heels with an early third period goal. Seth Jones made a ridiculous cut from the left corner, made a move through the slot, and roofed a shot just under the crossbar. David Quinn wound up challenging the goal for goaltender interference, but the goal was upheld and the Rangers were sent to the penalty kill.

Immediately following the Jones goal, Columbus completely took over the game and on the other end, Alexandar Georgiev was equally up to the task. Georgiev finished the night with 45 saves, and if not for his spectacular play, I’m not sure the Rangers even have a shot at coming away with a point, let alone a win.