08:03 2nd
MTL#3
2
TBL#2
0
END 1st
DET#4
0
BOS#1
0
10:00 PM ET
DAL#4
0
ANA#1
0
CBJ
29-46-7
NYR
51-24-7
OT
23 SOG
35 SOG

Stepan's OT goal gives Rangers 3-2 win over Jackets

Dave Lozo  - NHL.com Staff Writer | Sunday, 02.19.2012 / 10:40 PM

NEW YORK -- There probably weren't many who didn't think the East-leading New York Rangers wouldn't come away with two points against the 30th-place Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.

It's just how the Rangers went about doing so that was the interesting part.

Derek Stepan scored 22 seconds into overtime to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory after Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash -- the biggest name in the NHL trade deadline rumor mill -- tied the score with 1:33 left in regulation.

The tying goal evoked a "We don't want you" chant from the fans at Madison Square Garden, who watched their Rangers win for the seventh time in nine games and open a nine-point lead in the conference on the Boston Bruins and New Jersey Devils.

Nash was the big story before the game, fielding questions from about a dozen reporters about his future. He said "no comment" when asked if the Rangers were one of the teams for which he'd waive his no-trade clause. His blast from the right circle with goaltender Steve Mason on the bench for an extra attacker nearly made him the big story after the game.

Instead, it was Stepan scoring his 12th goal of the season that stole the spotlight.

Stepan finished a beautiful passing play between Michael Del Zotto and Marian Gaborik by slamming the puck into a wide-open net to beat a game Jackets team.

"They've been playing some pretty good hockey," Stepan said of the Jackets, who are 4-3-1 in their last eight games. "We knew coming in that they'd be playing hard. We wanted to come out with a good start, and I thought we did."

The finish nearly cost the Rangers a point, as Nash's snap shot off a faceoff win beat goaltender Hernik Lundqvist made things interesting.

"I've faced him a lot over the years," said Lundqvist, who made 21 saves for his fourth straight win. "He's a good player, no question. I know there's been some speculation. Whatever happens, happens. He's a talented guy -- strong, good shooter. It was a knuckle puck. It just went straight down. I'd rather see him get a clean rocket there and I'd make the save."

The Rangers dominated the territorial play in the first period against the Jackets, who were playing their second game in as many days. It looked like it wouldn't translate into a goal, as Mason, who made 32 saves, was sharp throughout.

But Brad Richards broke through for his 18th goal of the year, finishing a give-and-go with Carl Hagelin to make it 1-0 with 2:11 left in the period. Richards fed Hagelin as they crossed the blue line on a 3-on-2, and Hagelin passed it back to the middle for a one-timer by Richards.

The Blue Jackets had no interest in rolling over, however.

After Gaborik took a high-sticking penalty, Derick Brassard tied the score 5 seconds later with a rocket from the blue line off a clean face-off win by Antoine Vermette. Lundqvist was unable to track the puck through a slew of bodies, leading a to a tie game at 5:26 of the second period.

A golden opportunity for the Rangers went to waste when they weren't able to convert on a 5-on -3 that lasted 1:33, but Artem Anisimov put the Rangers ahead less than two minutes after both teams were at even strength.

A long shot by defenseman Dan Girardi went over the head of Mason, who stayed on his knees outside the crease as the puck crashed into the glass. The rebound kicked out to the side of the net, where Anisimov buried his 11th of the season as Mason sprawled back to the crease.

"I think we had just spent close to two minutes in our zone on the 5-on-3 kill, so I think he was a bit winded," interim coach Todd Richards said of Mason on the goal.

Overall, Richards was pleased with his team's showing in the second half of a back-to-back.

"I really like the way we battled," he said. "I thought we fought and we clogged for everything, and we get the game to overtime. But I still think at times, we make it more difficult on ourselves by turning pucks over."

If the second period was a tenth of a second longer, things may have been even more difficult for the Blue Jackets.

With time winding down, Del Zotto appeared to score a goal as the period expired to make it 3-1. Replays on the television networks of the Rangers and Jackets showed there was time remaining with the puck completely across the line, but it was correctly ruled no-goal because on the official clock in the video review room in the arena, the puck was on the goal line with no time remaining.

"It was the correct call," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "Something happens with the clocks, I have no idea. But they made the right call."

The Rangers faced their share of adversity Sunday night -- an apparent goal properly waved off, a tying goal by Columbus with the game seemingly in hand -- but they forged ahead and got the two points.

"We have to regroup, just get back to work," Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said of the no-goal ruling. "We were confident (going into overtime). We felt good about the game we were playing. Our focus then turned to just getting that next point."

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
1st2nd3rdOTT
CBJ
NYR
Scoring Summary
1st Period
17:49NYR Brad Richards (18) Snap shot - ASST: Carl Hagelin (14), Michael Del Zotto (24) 1 - 0 NYR
2nd Period
05:26CBJ PPG - Derick Brassard (11) Slapshot - ASST: Antoine Vermette (18) 1 - 1 Tie
13:13NYR Artem Anisimov (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Dan Girardi (16), John Mitchell (7) 2 - 1 NYR
3rd Period
18:27CBJ Rick Nash (19) Snap shot - ASST: Jeff Carter (10), RJ Umberger (14) 2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
00:22NYR Derek Stepan (12) Snap shot - ASST: Michael Del Zotto (25), Marian Gaborik (23) 3 - 2 NYR
Three Stars of the Game
Ryan Callahan
1st
G: 0Shots: 6
A: 0Hits: 3
PTS: 0PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 22:34
Artem Anisimov
2nd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 18:00
Derek Stepan
3rd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:29
Penalty Summary
1st Period
NONE
2nd Period
01:26NYR Carl Hagelin  Hooking against  Derick Brassard
05:21NYR Marian Gaborik  Hi-sticking against  Aaron Johnson
09:31CBJ Derek Dorsett  Interference against  Steve Eminger
09:59CBJ Rick Nash  Hooking against  John Mitchell
17:41NYR Steve Eminger  Holding against  Antoine Vermette
3rd Period
12:17NYR Anton Stralman  Delaying Game-Puck over glass against  Fedor Tyutin
OT Period
NONE
shots by period
PeriodCBJNYR
1st410
2nd1115
3rd89
OT01
Total2335
Team Stats
CategoryCBJNYR
Power Plays1/40/2
Hits2321
Faceoff Wins2725
Giveaways64
Takeaways39
Blocked Shots2010
Penalty Minutes48
  • COLUMBUS
  • NY RANGERS
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4J. MooreD00-12020:57
5A. JohnsonD00-25020:28
7J. CarterC0101019:22
9C. GilliesC00-10011:03
14G. ClitsomeD0001010:31
15D. DorsettR0012216:12
16D. BrassardC1001017:31
17M. LetestuC00-11015:48
18R. UmbergerL0100017:30
19R. JohansenC00-12010:30
22V. ProspalL0001016:20
23B. LebdaD0000021:49
24D. MacKenzieC00-1009:33
26S. PahlssonC0000016:00
50A. VermetteC0101016:24
51F. TyutinD00-31025:37
58D. SavardD0001014:45
61R. NashL1014217:41
#GoaliesSVSASv%TOI
1S. Mason3235.91459:49
#skatersPosGA+/-SPIMTOI
4M. Del ZottoD0221025:14
5D. GirardiD0100023:11
8B. PrustL0001012:44
10M. GaborikR0115221:16
17B. DubinskyC0002013:12
18M. StaalD0010020:32
19B. RichardsC1015020:56
21D. StepanC1013020:29
22B. BoyleC00-13014:11
24R. CallahanR0006022:34
27R. McDonaghD0002021:34
32A. StralmanD0011215:33
34J. MitchellC011106:52
41S. BickelD000003:07
42A. AnisimovC1013018:00
44S. EmingerD0000212:58
62C. HagelinL0112219:09
71M. RuppL000004:01
#GoaliesSVSASv%TOI
30H. Lundqvist2123.91360:12