With a winning streak that catapulted them back into contention over, the New York Rangers are hoping another win over one of the victims of the streak can start a new one.
The Rangers hit the road once more tonight, visiting the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena (7:00 PM, MSG).
New York (9-8-2) has earned points in 10 of their last 13 games, but failed to register anything on Wednesday night, falling 6-3 to the Chicago Blackhawks at United Center. The Rangers got off to a good start, taking a 1-0 lead on a Mika Zinbanejad goal in the first period, but a late goal by Alex DeBrincat that squeaked through Henrik Lundqvist’s grasp knotted the score in the second. The Blackhawks broke loose after that, as the DeBrincat goal commenced a streak of four unanswered scores, including two by former Ranger Artem Anisimov. With Lundqvist pulled shortly after, the Rangers got back into the game with goals by Rick Nash and Kevin Hayes, but Chicago pulled away when Anisimov completed his first career hat trick and Jonathan Towes put in an empty netter. The Rangers ended the night going 0-for-3 on the power play.
Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets (11-7-1) have not played since Tuesday night, when they took a 2-1 overtime decision from the Montreal Canadiens. Sergei Bobrovsky made 28 saves, while Zach Werenski was responsible for the game winner, sending the Bell Centre faithful home disappointed. It’s Columbus’s second straight overtime victory, having defeated Detroit 2-1 on a shootout last Saturday. Already, the Jackets have played seven games requiring an extra period or shootout, going 6-1 in such games.
This is already the third time the Rangers have squared off with the Blue Jackets this season, with the two teams splitting the previous pair. The Rangers took a 5-3 decision at Madison Square Garden on November 6, a win that saw them erase a 2-0 deficit. Michael Grabner had two goals, while Zibanejad added three assists. New York tallied three goals in the victory, while Lundqvist stopped 22 shots.
The teams will square off for a final time at MSG on March 20.
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490