The New York Rangers closed out the home portion of their schedule this evening as they were defeated 3-2 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Rangers tied the game with seven seconds remaining in regulation, and forced overtime in a crucial game for the Blue Jackets. However, Columbus was able to recover in the shootout and Sergei Bobrovsky turned away the final shot to a secure a playoff spot.
Chris Kreider (28) - Mika Zibanejad (43) - 1:47 2nd Period
Following a pretty miserable period by every Ranger not named Alexandar Georgiev, the Rangers finally broke the scoreless tie early in the second. Mika Zibanejad made a great defensive play in the neutral zone on Cam Atkinson, and broke in on a 2-on-1 opportunity with Chris Kreider. Zibanejad solid Sergei Bobrovsky on his fake shot attempt, and found Chris Kreider trailing the play with plenty of space. Kreider corralled the puck and ripped a shot above the pads to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.
Ryan Dzingel (26) - Nick Foligno (17) & David Savard (13) - 2:25 3rd Period
Columbus finally solved Alexandar Georgiev early in the third period, and kept their season alive by tying the game at 1-1. New York coughed up a puck in the offensive zone, and the costly turnover led to a 3-on-1 rush back the other way. Nick Foligno found Ryan Dzingel up high in the slot, and Dzingel ripped a quick slap shot past Georgiev on the far side.
2-1 Blue Jackets
Artemi Panarin (28) - David Savard (14) - 14:27 3rd Period
With the Blue Jackets in search of the go-ahead goal, Artemi Panarin made that a reality at the 14:27 mark of the third period. Another costly turnover to Columbus going back the other way, and Panarin entered the zone at a 2-on-3 disadvantage. However, he quickly turned that disadvantage in his favor after a dazzling move around two players as he cut to the middle. Panarin finished off the play with a perfectly placed wrist shot right under the crossbar and gave Columbus the lead.
Pavel Buchnevich (21) - Mika Zibanejad (44) & Ryan Strome (16) - 19:53 3rd Period
New York put some late pressure on during the close seconds, and after a failed scoring chance, Pavel Buchnevich’s last ditch effort tied the game. Buchnevich wound up tossing the puck from an impossible angle, and the puck deflected into the net off of Bobrovsky’s leg pad. Madison Square Garden erupted as soon as the puck crossed the line, and we needed extra time to decide the game.
3-2 Blue Jackets - Shootout
With overtime solving nothing, and the Blue Jackets needing one final point to clinch a playoff berth, we moved onto the shootout. The lone goal came courtesy of Artemi Panarin, who sniped another shot past Alexandar Georgiev. Sergei Bobrovsky was tasked with making the final save, and did just that, turning aside Tony DeAngelo’s attempt for the victory.
Following tonight’s entertaining finish, the Rangers will have one final game remaining as they faceoff tomorrow night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.