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Kreider expected to return as the Rangers take on the Blue Jackets

Bobby Bevilacqua


Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

Following a stretch of three games in Canada that all resulted in wins, the Rangers (13-4-0) will look to keep on rolling and sweep their four game win streak as they head to Columbus tonight to take on the Blue Jackets (8-4-2).

The Rangers most recent victory was a 7-2 thrashing over the Canucks, with JT Miller and Kevin Hayes each scoring a pair of goals, and Mats Zuccarello recording a three point night. Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves to improve to 8-1-0 in his last nine starts and 9-4-0 this season.

The Blue Jackets have won three of their last four games, including an 8-4 win over the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 12. They also dominated the Canadiens in a 10-0 win back on Nov. 4, the only team to score 10 goals in a game. Columbus has scored 47 goals this season, but 18 of them have come in two games. So despite their good record, they have had some issues scoring goals at times. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers aim to end slump and clinch playoff spot on the road against Columbus

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs blue jackets faceoff 10-10

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.

The Rangers (43-26-9) have had two straight chances to clinch a playoff spot, and lost in regulation against non-playoff teams in both of those games. Tonight, they have another shot at putting that checkmark next to their names when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (31-39-8).

Things have been bad for the Rangers lately. They’ve lost three straight games, including two bad losses to teams that they should have beaten. Defensive lapses, some bad goaltending, and poor play with the puck has doomed them. The defensive coverage has been embarrassing at best and the usual culprits have been the main offenders. The offense has been lacking at times, often sitting back and not pressing, or just not being able to transition the puck and create anything. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers comeback for OT win over Blue Jackets; Stepan with a three point night

Bobby Bevilacqua

derek stepan goal celebration 3 4-6

Derek Stepan celebrates after scoring one of his two goals in the in against the Blue Jackets, scoring the tying goal late in the third as well as the overtime winner. Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

In one of the most exciting games of the year, the Rangers (51-21-7) scored late in the third period before Derek Stepan scored the game winner in overtime to snap the Blue Jackets (39-35-5) nine game win streak, and extending their own win steak.

With the win, the Rangers secured their 51st win of the season, and their 109th point of the season. That puts them just one point shy of clinching the Eastern Conference title, and two points shy of the President’s Trophy, which would secure home ice advantage throughout the playoffs. They also moved two points ahead of the idle Anaheim Ducks for sole possession of the first place spot in the NHL.

New York’s current total of 109 points is tied for the second highest in franchise history. One more win would tie the franchise record in wins, 52 set in the 1993-94 season, and three points would tie the franchise record in points of 112, also set in the 1993-94 season, the year that they want the cup. Read the rest of this entry

Rangers face tough Blue Jackets team at MSG; Brassard and Nash face former team

Bobby Bevilacqua

The Rangers and Blue Jackets will face off for the final time this season, with New York aiming for their third straight win against Columbus this season. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

The Rangers (50-21-7) will finish out their two game homestand, and start back-to-back games tonight when they take on the hottest team in the NHL, and winners of nine straight games in the Columbus Blue Jackets (39-35-4).

Although they have been long eliminated from playoff contention, the Blue Jackets carry their franchise record nine game win streak into Madison Square Garden tonight, including a franchise record eight game road win streak. There was a lot of hope heading into this season for Columbus, but a ridiculous amount of injuries derailed their hopes from the start.

Nonetheless, what matters is right now, and Columbus is currently the hottest team in the NHL. Read the rest of this entry