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Rangers vs Blue Jackets: Rangers Jump Out To Early Lead But Fall 5-3 in Columbus

New York Rangers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

The New York Rangers had their brief two-game winning streak snapped this evening as they were defeated 5-3 by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Rangers initially jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but that quickly disappeared as Columbus stormed back on the scoreboard. Columbus would add two more goals in the second period, but the Rangers were unable to overcome the deficit despite a very strong third period.

1st Period

Artemiy Panarin (12) - Adam Fox (40) & Ryan Lindgren (5) - 1:29

It didn’t take very long for Artemiy Panarin to strike against his former team, and his 12th of the season came just 1:29 after the opening faceoff. Adam Fox created the rush with a crisp outlet pass from below the Rangers’ goal line, and put the puck right on Panarin’s stick blade. Panarin was able to enter the zone with space, side stepped Gavin Bayreuther, and snapped a quick shot on goal. Jonas Korpisalo was beaten cleanly with the heavy snapshot, and Panarin gave the Rangers the early lead in this game.

Barclay Goodrow (9) - Braden Schneider (1) & Artemiy Panarin (35) - 4:44

A little over three minutes later, the Rangers kept pressuring in the offensive zone and were rewarded with their second goal of the night. Artemiy Panarin had a hand in this goal as well after setting up Braden Schneider with a clean cross-ice pass. Schneider was able to catch the puck in stride, and fire a low shot on goal in hopes of a deflection. Thankfully, he got just that as Barclay Goodrow was stationed in front of the crease and redirected the puck over Korpisalo.

Gustav Nyquist (11) - Patrik Laine (10) & Boone Jenner (12) - 5:49

Even though the Blue Jackets surrendered the first two goals of the game, they were able to pull back within a goal at the 5:49 mark. Following a quick outlet pass by Gavin Bayreuther, Patrik Laine was able to collect the puck as he entered the offensive zone. After making a power move down towards the goal line, Laine tossed the puck back in front of the Rangers’ net. Gustav Nyquist was able to redirect the puck with his skate without a kicking motion, and slipped the puck past Alexandar Georgiev.

Boone Jenner (17) - Zach Werenski (17) & Oliver Bjorkstrand (16) PPG - 7:28

A short time later, the Blue Jackets erased their early mistakes and tied up the game before we even hit the halfway mark of the first period. A Barclay Goodrow tripping penalty send Columbus to the man-advantage, and it took them just 48 seconds to capitalize. A point shot by Zach Werenski found its way through the traffic in front, but didn’t make it past Boone Jenner. Jenner was able to redirect the puck in the high slot, and beat Alexandar Georgiev over the shoulder.

2nd Period

Sean Kuraly (7) - Max Domi (10) & Zach Werenski (18) - 6:18

After erasing the two-goal deficit very quickly in the first period, the Blue Jackets took their first lead of the evening just six minutes into the middle frame. Sean Kuraly was able to capitalize on some poor coverage by the Rangers, and redirected home a centering pass from Max Domi. K’Andre Miller appeared to be the culprit as he drifted way too high into the slot, and was caught puck watching instead of covering his man in front.

Boone Jenner (18) - Patrik Laine (11) - 12:27

Nearly six minutes later, the Blue Jackets doubled up their lead with Boone Jenner’s second goal of the evening. It’s not often you see Adam Fox turnover a puck, let alone twice within a 10 second span. That was how things were going for the Rangers in the second period, and the puck eventually ended up in the back of the net. Following the consecutive turnovers, the Blue Jackets continued swarming the net and Jenner’s off-angle shot slipped inside the post. Alexandar Georgiev didn’t look as if he expected the shot, and never sealed off his post.

3rd Period

Mika Zibanejad (16) - Artemiy Panarin (36) & Braden Schneider (2) PPG - 7:12

As is typically the case, the Rangers woke up in the third period and decided to get back to playing hockey. Their strong play eventually lead to a power play opportunity just before the halfway point of the period, and they took full advantage. Despite being down Adam Fox due to injury, the Rangers’ man-advantage continued to produce. Mika Zibanejad absolutely bombed a one-timer from inside the left faceoff circle, and put the puck right under the crossbar. Jonas Korpisalo never stood a chance as soon as the puck left Zibanejad’s stick, and the Rangers pulled back within a goal.

Sean Kuraly (8) - Zach Werenski (19) ENG - 17:46

The Rangers elected to pull their goaltender with well over two minutes remaining in regulation, and that quickly came back to haunt them. Within seconds, the Blue Jackets were able to steal the puck and Sean Kuraly shot the puck the full length of the ice, and into the empty net.

Aside from the second period, the Rangers actually played pretty well despite the end result. The third period was dominant, and if not for Jonas Korpisalo activating God Mode, the Rangers probably tie that game at the very least. The biggest concern heading into tomorrow night will be the health of Adam Fox. As of right now it appears to be a minor injury according to Gerard Gallant, and Fox is considered “day to day.” The Rangers will have to quickly forget about tonight’s result as they return to New York tomorrow for Henrik Lundqvist night.