Pregame Analysis

Rick Nash Returns Prior to Rangers vs Blue Jackets

The Rangers travel to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets in a Metropolitan Division match up (6:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

Saturday afternoon, the Blueshirts broke their Brooklyn curse winning for the first time in eight games at the Barclay’s Center. The Rangers got goals from Filip Chytil and Mats Zuccarello to defeat the Islanders 2-1. Alex Georgiev made 24 saves in a winning effort.

“I still thought there were plenty of times we could have shot more pucks to create more chances for ourselves… I thought we did a really good job,” said head coach David Quinn. The Rangers registered 26 shots on net, with eleven coming in the third period.

“It’s a good response from the guys,” said Mika Zibanejad. Zibanejad registered an assist on the game winning goal and helped the Rangers snap a five-game skid.

Freddy Claesson left the game with after an awkward fall into the boards. Quinn said “doesn’t look good.”

Tonight, the Rangers will see a familiar face prior to the start of the game. 34-year-old left winger Rick Nash, announced his retirement from hockey due to concussion-related symptoms. Nash was drafted first overall in 2002 by the Blue Jackets. Nash played nine-seasons for the Blue Jackets before being traded to the Rangers where he would play the next six seasons. Nash played in over 1,000 games and registered more than 800 points. Nash will participate in the ceremonial puck drop before the game.

“I loved coaching him,” said Blue Jackets head coach John Tortorella, who coached Nash in New York while he was Blueshirts bench boss. “There was no maintenance to him. Very quiet guy. I love the way he played. That’s a hard one for me because I still think he has some hockey left in him, but I’m excited to see him tomorrow. I don’t have a bad word to say about him. He was a good pro. People mistake him for – sometimes I think they think it’s a lack of intensity because he’s just a quiet guy, but he’s a hard player. I loved being around him and I loved coaching him.”

Both meetings between the two teams went to overtime with each team winning once. Kevin Hayes remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Neal Pionk who missed Saturday afternoon’s game is also listed as day-to-day and is a game time decision in Columbus.

Henrik Lundqvist and Sergei Bobrovsky will likely each start for their respective teams. Bobrovsky has sat out the past two games after dealing with disciplinary issues with the Blue Jackets.

Projected lineup:







Smith – Shattenkirk


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