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Rangers secure remarkable comeback victory over Columbus; Michael Grabner scores twice

Alexandra Russo

michael-grabner-goal-celebration-1-7

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The New York Rangers went into this game coming off a big 5-2 win against divisional rival Philadelphia Flyers. While this game appeared to be a loss, the sheer will and heart of this Rangers team carried them to a surprising 5-4 win at Nationwide Arena against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the best team in the League.

The New York Rangers fell behind fast as just 1:54 into the first period, Columbus blasted a shot from the point that got deflected in front of Lundqvist by Nutivaara and flew behind him for a one goal lead.

Soon after, McDonagh took a penalty that cost his team, putting them down 2-0. Gagner, who was behind the net, put the puck in front and across the crease for Cam Atkinson, who notched his 19th goal of the season.

Zuccarello then took another penalty a few minutes later, but due to Lundqvist’s couple of good saves, they found a way to kill it. Hrivik put the team down a man again a short while after that, but they killed that one off, as well. It was time for them to start playing a tighter game, and they knew it.

Oscar Lindberg got the Rangers’ game going when he received a good pass from Michael Grabner that sent him down the ice on a two on one. Lindberg rang the puck off the corner of the post and in, beating McElhinney top shelf, and slicing Columbus’ lead in half.

The Blue Jackets responded fast, though. As Kevin Klein tried to skate away with the puck, Hartnell poked it away from him and put it behind Lundqvist for a 3-1 lead with just over four minutes left in the opening period of play.

Penalties assessed to both teams saw them skate four aside headed into the middle period. It wasn’t long before Columbus struck again. This time it was Sedlak three minutes in who took advantage of a poor defensive play by the Rangers.

However, the Rangers were the fast-responders this time around. Grabner went speeding up the ice with the puck, and a little over a minute later, he put the Rangers within two again. This was his third goal in the last two games.

The Rangers went on their first power play of the game, and they weren’t able to get many good looks.

Jimmy Vesey had a good look with two minutes remaining in the second period, and the Rangers seemed to try a few different strategies to keep the puck in the Jackets’ zone. However, they weren’t exactly able to maintain possession the way they wanted to. Columbus led the Rangers 4-2 an 28-18 in shots headed into the third period.

Foligno took a penalty early into the third period, and the Rangers took advantage of it. Adam Clendening notched his first goal as a New York Rangers as he beat McElhinney short side for a one goal game. JT Miller and Kevin Hayes had the primary and secondary assists, respectively, on this goal.

Chris Kreider nearly tied the game up when he found himself on a breakaway. The puck went between they pads of McElhinney. He thought he had it, but the puck was still loose. The Rangers tried to slip it in, but they weren’t able to on that shift.

As he was falling down, Kevin Hayes tried desperately to put the puck in the net, but McElhinney spread himself out to stop the chance.

Adam Clendening, who had two NHL goals coming into this game, scored at 12:57 for the Blueshirts to tie the game at four apiece. Clendening’s wrist shot escaped the pads of McElhinney.

Jenner’s shot on Lundqvist was carefully handled, and it led to a lot of chances, but the Rangers were able to stop them all due to the insanely great play of Henrik Lundqvist and the great clearing jobs of the defensemen.

With 16.5 seconds to go in the game, Michael Grabner stole the puck from Columbus at the red line and skated down on a breakaway. After a couple of slick moves, and a sick backhand, Grabner slid the puck past the Blue Jackets’ netminder, and the Rangers knew they were winning this one.

This was definitely the best game of 2017 so far. While the Rangers could have played better in the first two periods, one of their most impressive third periods of the season came up big for them. Not to mention, Henrik Lundqvist was the backbone in the third period, stopping all nine shots he faced.

The Blueshirts are definitely looking to play more periods like this third period in the new year and moving forward in general. This win should help their momentum as they rest up for a week before hitting the ice at MSG against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Make sure to catch the action at seven o’clock as the Rangers look to make it three wins in a row.

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Posted on January 8, 2017, in Game Recaps and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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