RANGERS 3 | BLUE JACKETS 1
This game appropriately lived up to its billing as one of the most anticipated in quite some time here in Columbus. The only thing missing was a better result for the home team.
FINAL: RANGERS 3 | JACKETS 1
The Blue Jackets, playing their second game in as many nights and sixth in the previous 11, knew they would face a New York Rangers that had been waiting for them in Columbus for two days. The Rangers wanted to establish their game early and they were fairly successful in doing so, out-shooting the Blue Jackets by a 14-9 margin in the opening period and controlling most of the play.
It continued in the second period as the Rangers drew the Jackets into penalty trouble, but Columbus' penalty killers were solid, as was Sergei Bobrovsky in net. Bobrovsky had racked up 26 saves when two periods were complete, and things really started to escalate in the third. Rick Nash, playing his first game back at Nationwide Arena, had a goal disallowed for incidental contact with the goalie which led to a skirmish after the whistle, all this coming in the final stages of the middle frame.
Early in the third period, Matt Calvert wasted no time and dropped the gloves with Nash in defense of his goaltender, and the sold-out crowd was loving it. On the next shift, Nick Foligno pounced on a Rangers turnover and rifled his 18th goal of the season past Henrik Lundqvist for a 1-0 Jackets lead.
It didn't take the Rangers long to respond, and a bang-bang play was cashed in by Derek Stepan just 44 seconds after the Foligno goal. Derick Brassard scored the go-ahead goal with 8:29 to play, banking in a loose puck from the goal line that caught Bobrovsky by surprise.
The Rangers' quick response after the Foligno goal got them righted once again, and they played like a confident group in the third period. Stepan's goal was their turning point tonight.
1. HENRIK LUNDQVIST (NYR)
Lundqvist was very good early and held the fort the rest of the way, making 25 saves between the pipes for New York.
2. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Bobrovsky, making the start on the second night of a back-to-back, was awfully good in this game. He finished with 29 saves and did his best work in the first 40 minutes.
3. DERICK BRASSARD (NYR)
Brassard was energized tonight and scored the game-winning goal against his former team.
AT NEW YORK ISLANDERS
SUNDAY, 1 P.M.
NASSAU COUNTY COLISEUM