BLUE JACKETS 3 | RANGERS 4
Mark Letestu Post Game
Brandon Dubinsky Post Game
Todd Richards Post Game
David Savard Goal
ANALYSIS: What the Blue Jackets needed in the second period was to chip away at the Rangers' lead - and they did that - but only after falling behind 3-0. Martin St. Louis scored his second of the night, capping off a mesmerizing passing play before burying it into a wide open net. Marko Dano got the Jackets on the board by converting a slick cross-ice pass from line mate Nick Foligno, and that line scored later in the period to make this a one-goal game headed to the third period. Artem Anisimov hacked away at a loose puck in the crease, eventually pushing it over the goal line and it stood a (very) brief video review late in the period. Shots are 30-19 Rangers, but the Blue Jackets definitely have the momentum and need to capitalize on it once the third period begins.
Marko Dano Goal
Artem Anisimov Goal
ANALYSIS: Well, not the ideal start for the Blue Jackets tonight at Madison Square Garden. They knew the Rangers would come out flying and there were no surprises, as they pounced on the Jackets' mistakes and turned them into counter-attacking opportunities going the other way. The Rangers got the opening goal on a turnover coming out of the Jackets' zone, and Kevin Hayes used Jordan Leopold as a screen before whipping a quick shot glove-side on Curtis McElhinney. Then it was Martin St. Louis converting from a sharp angle at the side of the net thanks to a great pass from Derek Stepan. The Jackets had some chances of their own but couldn't beat Cam Talbot, who is making his ninth start in place of the injured Henrik Lundqvist tonight.
UPDATE (5:10 P.M.): Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards just met with reporters pre-game at Madison Square Garden. Here's your pre-game update (with an assist from FOX Sports Ohio's Dave Maetzold)...
- James Wisniewski will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Rangers, Richards said. Jordan Leopold draws in and is expected to pair with Kevin Connauton.
- Curtis McElhinney starts in goal.
- The Blue Jackets' forward lines remain the same.
Welcome to the Broadway, Blue Jackets fans!
After a tough loss last night in Montreal, the Jackets are back in action tonight against another Original Six opponent as they take on the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. It's the third meeting of the season with the Rangers, the teams splitting the first two meetings at Nationwide Arena. The Jackets face a tall task against the second place team in the Metropolitan Division, a squad that has earned points in 10 of the last 11 games.
The Rangers will be without goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who continues to recover from a vascular injury he suffered when struck in the throat with the puck against the Hurricanes on Jan. 31. With the star goaltender missing, the star forward has picked up the slack. Rick Nash has nine goals in the past 11 games and ranks second in the NHL with 37 on the season.
While you spend your day celebrating Hockey Day in America, here are a few notes to prepare you for tonight's tilt at MSG...
- With Lundqvist out of the lineup, as is Sergei Bobrovsky, tonight's matchup presents a battle of impressive back-ups in Curtis McElhinney and Cam Talbot. McElhinney is 5-2-0 with a .940 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average in his last seven starts. Talbot is 5-1-2 since taking over for Lundqvist, and he's the first Ranger goaltender besides Lundqvist to start eight straight games since Mike Dunham in 2004. Talbot's streak ended Friday night in Buffalo, when Mackenzie Skapski made his NHL debut.
- The Blue Jackets made a strong push to tie the game in last night's third period in Montreal, but they were unsuccessful. They'd like to avoid that same situation even more so tonight. The Rangers are 25-0-1 this season when leading entering the second period, a .962 winning percentage that is second best in the NHL.
- It's another back-to-back for Columbus, their 13th of the season. They are 4-8-0 in the second half of back-to-backs this season.
- The Jackets weren't planning to skate this morning after a late night getting in from Montreal last night, but they weren't going to have many option regardless thanks to an all-Ohio themed sports day at Madison Square Garden. Before puck-drop on the Rangers and Jackets tonight, the Knicks play an afternoon game against the Cleveland Cavaliers.