Rangers Look to Play Spoiler vs Blue Jackets

The New York Rangers probably won’t continue a playoff streak that currently stands at seven years, but that won’t stop them from having some fun along the way.

The Rangers will get a chance to play spoiler of sorts for a Metropolitan rival tonight as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Madison Square Garden (7:00 PM, MSG).

The Rangers (32-32-8) have actually displayed a spark as of late, having gone 5-2-2 over their past nine games. Their last game was an overtime defeat at the hands of the St. Louis Blues on Saturday, a loss that saw Mika Zibanejad score two goals, with the second coming on the power play, his 24th of the season. In between, Mats Zuccarello also scored, tallying one for the fourth time over his past five games. The Rangers were done in by two Brayden Schenn goals, including one in overtime to give St. Louis the win at home.

Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets (40-28-5) remain in the top Eastern Conference wild card, having won eight in a row. They earned a big win last night, defeating the Boston Bruins in overtime by a 5-4 final. Columbus trailed 3-1 in the second period, but three unanswered goals put them up 4-3. Boston did manage to tie it, but Cam Atkinson won it in the extra session. The Blue Jackets are up six points on Florida, the last team looking in.

This will be the fourth and final meeting between the Rangers and Blue Jackets this season, with the previous trio coming in the early stages of the year, the last being a 2-0 Columbus win on November 17. The Ranger win came on November 6, coming by a 5-3 final. Zibanejad helped on three of the goals. Pavel Buchnevich put in two points with a goal and an assist.

Henrik Lundqvist returns to net for the Rangers tonight after a three-game absence.

Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490

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