Recap: Blueshirts Bruise Blue Jackets, 6-2

12 Rangers posted a point in a well-balanced win.

The Rangers hosted the Columbus Blue Jackets Tuesday night. Both teams got what they wanted. The Rangers are an easy two points closer to officially clinching, and the Blue Jackets are two dropped points closer to Connor Bedard. Everybody wins! Except people who want to watch meaningful, late-season hockey. But I digress.

First Period:

Columbus and New York combined for five goals in the first. Filip Chytil opened the scoring with a nice, greasy goal. K’Andre Miller took a point shot that Michael Hutchinson knocked down. Alexis Lafrenière scooped it away from the goaltender’s glove, and Chytil finished it off for his 22nd goal of the season. Yummy yummy grease.

About a minute and half later, Vladimir Tarasenko put the Rangers up two on a much prettier goal. Ben Harpur hit Braden Schenider in stride with a cross-ice pass, and Schneider, in turn, put the puck right on Tarasenko’s stick in the slot. Schneider had been held off the scoresheet in his previous 12 games, so good on him for collecting the primary apple.

Patrick Kane accounted for the third goal. Ben Harpur moved the puck up ice to Kane, and a few nifty passes later, Kane found plenty of room short-side on Hutchinson. All three goals were scored in 2:37.

Things were looking good, but the Rangers seemed to get complacent. Their turnovers and generally sloppy play let the Blue Jackets get back into the game, if only for a little while.

Columbus’s first came on the powerplay, courtesy of Kirill Marchenko. Columbus moved the puck well before Johnny Gaudreau found Jack Roslovic alone at the top of the right circle. Both defenders went to him, leaving Marchenko with all night to shoot.

After earning the secondary assist earlier, Gaudreau found the back of the net to pull the Blue Jackets within one. Boone Jenner held the puck in the corner, and though he lost his balance, he managed to set up Gaudreau for his 19th of the year.

Second Period:

Unlike the first, the second period was goalless until the final few minutes. After tilting the ice for most of the period, the Rangers finally broke through on the powerplay. Mika Zibanejad saucered the puck to Adam Fox and the point. Fox moved it to Artemiy Panarin in the right circle. He took a couple strides and scored on a stick-side wrister.

Third Period:

The Rangers padded their lead with another couple goals in the third. The first came when Panarin carried the puck through the neutral zone and made a move toward the high-slot. With all eyes on him, he moved it wide to Zibanejad, who had all the net in the world to shoot on. Vincent Trocheck iced the game with an empty-netter, giving the Rangers a 6-2 victory.

. . .

Not much to say here. The Rangers won handily against an easy opponent while spreading out ice-time, Igor was solid, and the stars all put up points. The Kid Line is cooking right now, which is just delightful. If there’s one concern it’s that the powerplay still looks pretty disjointed, especially given the names. But they scored one tonight, and there are still a few weeks of games to build chemistry.

The Rangers’ next game is against their likely first-round opponent, the New Jersey Devils.