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Rangers battle NHL best Columbus before the bye-week; Updates on Nash, Buchnevich, Zibanejad

Bobby Bevilacqua


Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The Rangers (27-13-1) played one of their most complete games of the year on Wednesday, a 5-2 win over the Flyers, but now they face a tall task when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets (27-6-4) on the road, their last game before the league-mandated “bye-week.”

These two teams have become real rivals over the last few years, with each game featuring a bit of nastiness and an edge that each skater is playing with. Now that Columbus has the most points in the league and sit atop the Metropolitan Division, these games have even more meaning.

The Rangers got two goals from Kevin Hayes and Michael Grabner, as well as one from Chris Kreider, in a win over the Flyers in their last game. Henrik Lundqvist was fantastic, making 30 saves, and the Rangers defense also looked good as Vigneault switched up the pairings with Marc Staal out. Read the rest of this entry

Miller, Brassard look to stay hot against Hagelin and the Penguins

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers vs penguins game 1 faceoff 4-16

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

For the first time since the Rangers (30-18-5) eliminated the Pittsburgh Penguins (27-18-7) in Game 5 of the opening round of the playoffs, these two bitter rivals will face off once again. Despite playing every other team in the Metropolitan Division, this is the first game between New York and Pittsburgh in this regular season.

The Rangers are currently riding a three game win streak, the first time they’ve won that many consecutive games since the middle of November. Things are starting to look up; more possession, more shots on goal, better defensive play, and less mistakes. That’s given the Rangers six wins in their last eight, and something to build off of.

The Penguins are also coming into tonight’s game playing extremely well. Under former Rangers assistant coach and now current head coach Mike Sullivan, Pittsburgh has greatly improved their play, finding the right line combinations, scoring more and winning more. The Penguins have won six of their last seven games, outscoring opponents 23-14 in those games. Read the rest of this entry