While attempting to play spoiler to John Tortorella’s Columbus Blue Jackets, the Baby Blueshirts dropped their third consecutive game by a score of 3-2 in a shootout, Pavel Buchnevich tied the game with 6.1 seconds left, but Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky shut down the Rangers past regulation to send Columbus into the playoffs. A major bright spot for New York was Alexander Georgiev continuing his incredible play with a 39 save performance. With his performance, it is expected that Georgie will start in the last game of the season against Pittsburgh.
Although they could not provide the fans with one last victory, the season has shown the incredible poetnetial for the Blueshirts in coming years.
With the loss, New York now has the fifth best odds to land the #1 pick in the NHL entry level draft(the Draft Lottery takes place this Tuesday on NBCSN). American sensation Jack Hughes and Finnish sniper Kappo Kakko are the stars of the draft as of now.
The Rangers were fortunate to escape the opening period with the game knotted at zero as the Blue Jackets came out with an edge to their game–pressuring Georgiev early and often. “Alexander the Great” as the MSG broadcast called him, stopped all 15 shots that came his way, giving the Blueshirts a chance to stay within reach of an extremely skilled and fast-paced Columbus squad.
The middle frame was all about the KZB line(Kreider, Zibanejad, Buchnevich) of the Rangers. Every time they were on the ice, it seemed as if they controlled the puck in the offensive zone for their whole shift. Only 1:47 in, the Blueshirts took the lead by virtue of this powerful lime. Mika Zibanejad improved on his spectacular season with a great dish to Kreider who toe-dragged and sniped the puck far side past Bobrovsky.
In the third, Columbus was finally able to break through and find a way to beat Georgiev. Early in the period, Jackets captian Nick Foligno led his team on an odd-man rush in which Ryan Dzingel slapped home a one-timer into the net to tie the game at one. The Jackets wouldn’t stop them, as at 14:27, Artemi Panarin scored one of the prettiest goals of the season. He chipped the puck to himself across his body and whipped the puck home top shelf. The goal created mixed feelings for the Blueshirt fans due to the fact that the Rangers have been rumored to be the likely destination to land the Russian superstar this offseason.
With only 6.1 seconds remaining in regulation, the KZB line struck again as Pavel Buchnevich threw a puck on net that eluded Sergie Bobrovsky to send the game into overtime.
No team scored in overtime, but Artemi Panarin got the last laugh, scoring the shootout winner.
The Rangers will conclude their season with a tough matchup against the playoff-bound Pittsburgh Penguins at 7 PM.
Here at Blueshirts nation, we would like to thank and congratulate Glen Sather for his incredible tenure on Broadway as the team’s President. As President, he led New Tork to their first cup in 54 years in 1994 and a Stanley Cup Final appearance and Presidents trophy in 2014 and 2015. Thank you Glen.