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Blue Jackets contend with road-warrior Rangers

by Dave Lozo /
RANGERS (17-12-1) at BLUE JACKETS (15-11-1)

TV -- MSG (HD), FS-O (HD)

Last 10 --
New York 7-3-0; Columbus 4-5-1

Season series -- This is the first and only meeting between the two teams. The Rangers chased Steve Mason in a 7-4 victory at Madison Square Garden in their only meeting last season.

Big story -- At 11-4-0, the Rangers are the NHL's best road team. They are winning and gaining confidence after missing last season's playoffs. Meanwhile, the Blue Jackets are in a bit of a funk, having lost six of seven after sharing a tie for first in the Western Conference.

Team scope:

Rangers -- A three-goal third period helped the Rangers rally for a 5-3 win against the Senators on Thursday. It was a little payback for a 3-0 loss to Ottawa on home ice four days earlier.

"It was a really good effort coming back three times," goaltender Henrik Lundqvist said. "I think we were just determined to win this one after a tough loss at home where they got the late goal there. It felt really good the way we responded."

Blue Jackets -- Special teams were the downfall of the Blue Jackets during Thursday night's 4-1 loss to the Blues, who were 3-for-3 on the power play and killed all eight shorthanded situations they faced.

"I thought we played great 5-on-5," captain Rick Nash said. "I thought we were all over them. Special teams was the difference, and not burying our chances."

Who's hot --
Rangers sniper Marian Gaborik has 4 goals and 3 assists in his last 6 games. … Nash has 1 goal and 2 assists in his last 2 games after registering just 1 assist in his previous seven games.

Injury report -- Rangers forward Derek Boogaard (shoulder) and defenseman Steve Eminger (hip) were injured against the Senators and are questionable. … Blue Jackets forward Kristian Huselius (ankle) will not play.

Stat pack -- The Blue Jackets are 3-for-38 with the man advantage over the last seven games, and they've allowed opponents to convert on 9 of 17 chances in the last four. … Gaborik has 13 goals and 22 points in 23 contests against Columbus.

Puck drop -- "It's something you're always going to remember. At every level you remember your first one and it was great that it was a game-winning goal, too. I'm definitely excited." -- Michael Sauer, whose first NHL goal was the winner Thursday

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