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Blue Jackets at Rangers preview

Columbus can clinch playoff berth; Georgiev expected to start for New York

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

BLUE JACKETS (45-31-4) at RANGERS (31-36-13)

7 p.m. ET; TVAS, MSG+, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets will clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the third straight season with a win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

The Blue Jackets are tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the second wild card into the playoffs from the Eastern Conference but have a game in hand and hold the regulation/overtime win (ROW) tiebreaker (44-41).

Columbus, coming off a 6-2 loss against the Boston Bruins on Tuesday that ended a five-game winning streak, also will play at the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. Montreal will play its final regular-season game against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

Goalie Alexandar Georgiev will start for the Rangers, who are playing their final home game of the season.


Players to watch

Columbus forward Artemi Panarin has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past six games.

Rangers forward Ryan Strome is two away from his first 20-goal season in the NHL.


They said it

"We shouldn't be feeling the weight, and I don't think we do. We've played really well. We lost a game. We won five prior to that. We just have to bounce back, enjoy the moment and take it as an opportunity." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"We need to bring an intensity to our game, a playoff mindset to our game. It's one of our last two games. I've said this ad nauseam, how this season ends you're going to carry through the summer, so let's take advantage." -- Rangers coach David Quinn


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Ryan Dzingel -- Matt Duchene -- Josh Anderson

Alexandre Texier -- Boone Jenner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Riley Nash -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Nick Foligno

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara -- David Savard

Dean Kukan -- Scott Harrington

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson, Adam Clendening, Andrew Peeke, Keith Kinkaid, Elvis Merzlikins

Injured: Adam McQuaid (upper body)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich

Brendan Lemieux -- Brett Howden -- Ryan Strome

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Lias Andersson -- Jimmy Vesey

Brendan Smith -- Boo Nieves -- Vinni Lettieri

Brady Skjei -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Marc Staal -- Tony DeAngelo

Ryan Lindgren -- Neal Pionk

Alexandar Georgiev

Henrik Lundqvist

Scratched: Connor Brickley, John Gilmour, Fredrik Claesson

Injured: Jesper Fast (upper body), Libor Hajek (separated shoulder), Filip Chytil (undisclosed)


Status report

Texier is expected to make his NHL debut. The Blue Jackets recalled the 19-year-old forward, the No. 45 pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Thursday. He had seven points (five goals, two assists) in seven games with Cleveland after he had 41 points (14 goals, 27 assists) in 55 games with KalPa of Liiga, Finland's top professional league. … The Rangers recalled Lindgren from Hartford of the AHL on Thursday. He played three games with the Rangers from Jan. 15-19.


Stat pack

Atkinson needs one goal to set the Blue Jackets record for most goals in a season. He has 41, tied with Rick Nash, who set the record in the 2003-04 season.

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