Rangers kick off second half against the Blue Jackets; Staal and Fast expected to play
- New York Rangers (31-17-1, 63 PTS) vs. Columbus Blue Jackets (32-12-4, 68 PTS)
- The Rangers were shutout in their last game against the Flyers. New York played an outstanding game despite not getting any goals, and they had the majority of the chances and had the two points stolen away by Steve Mason, who made 34 saves. There’s no such thing as a “feel good” loss, but this is about as close as you can get to one of them.
- The Blue Jackets lost their last game against the Nashville Predators, 4-3, and have lost two straight games. Columbus had an incredible 16 game win streak earlier in the season, and since that was snapped, they’ve been about a .500 team. However, they still have the second most points in the league and have played well in their recent losses.
- This is the third of five meetings between the Rangers and the Blue Jackets and the first of two at Madison Square Garden. The Rangers, playing their 50th game tonight, won the last meeting on Jan. 7, erasing a three goal deficit and getting a four point night from Michael Grabner, including a hat trick. The teams have split the first two games of the series so far.
- The Rangers have won eight of the last nine games against Columbus, dating back to Jan. 16, 2015, going 8-1-0 over that time span.
- The Rangers sit just five points behind the Blue Jackets in the Metropolitan Division standings, so this game has important implications for playoff seeding.
Kreider expected to return as the Rangers take on the Blue Jackets
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
Staal in the family: Eric makes Rangers debut at MSG against the Blue Jackets
Bobby BevilacquaFor the first time in their NHL careers, Marc and Eric Staal will both don the same jersey and play for the same team as the Rangers (36-20-6) look to extend their winning streak to three games when they return home to take on John Tortorella and the Columbus Blue Jackets (26-29-8).
With the trade deadline looming at 3 PM, there’s no certainty about what the lineups will look like for tonight’s game, but the Rangers will definitely have a new face on the bench. Eric Staal was at morning skate and will make his New York Rangers debut tonight at Madison Square Garden.
Alain Vigneault got a lot of help from Henrik Lundqvist on Saturday, with Hank making 36 saves in a tightly contested victory over the Dallas Stars. Chris Kreider, Ryan McDonagh and Kevin Klein all scored goals to help pick up the team’s second straight win, and giving them nine wins in the last 12 games. Read the rest of this entry
How Swede it is! Lundqvist, Lindberg power Rangers to 5-2 win over Columbus
The Rangers can thank Sweden for their win tonight.
The Rangers (3-0-0) cruised to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (0-2-0), winning their third straight game to start the year, all three of the games being home openers.
Out of the three games to start the season, this was easily the best for Vigneault’s squad. They made sure to jump on the Blue Jackets early, trying to neutralize any intentions of a physical start. Despite playing their third game in four night, the team looked very fresh, and totally dominated the early stages of the game.
The only lineup change came on the fourth line, with Tanner Glass making his season debut, replacing Jesper Fast on the fourth line. This was likely made as a response to the physical nature of Columbus. Glass had a decent game, recording two shots on goal and seven hits, and finishing with a plus one rating. Read the rest of this entry
Rangers come home to MSG for second round with the Blue Jackets
Hockey at the Garden is finally back.
The Rangers (2-0-0) are back under the lights at Madison Square Garden for the first time this season to finish off a home and home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0). The Rangers will play five of their next six games on home ice.
Under improbable circumstances, Alain Vigneault’s squad showed resiliency yet again, overcoming a 2-1 deficit by scoring three goals in 1:17 to secure a 4-2 road victory. Mats Zuccarello scored twice in the game, while Oscar Lindberg scored his second goals in as many games to begin his first full NHL season. Henrik Lundqvist was great again, stopping 31 of the 33 shots that he faced.
For tonight, Lundqvist is expected to start his third game in four nights. Vigneault wanted him to get off to a good start and get a nice workload early, so expect him between the pipes for the home opener. The Rangers also have a total of 17 back to backs this season, and there is plenty of opportunity for Raanta to start. Read the rest of this entry