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game recap

Bjorkstrand's late goal lifts Blue Jackets past Rangers

Scores second of game with 27 seconds left; Kivlenieks makes 31 saves in NHL debut

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Bjorkstrand's clutch second goal

CBJ@NYR: Bjorkstrand puts Blue Jackets ahead late

Oliver Bjorkstrand scores his second goal of the game in the final minute of regulation to give the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead

  • 00:39 •

NEW YORK -- Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his second goal with 27 seconds remaining, and Matiss Kivlenieks made 31 saves in his NHL debut to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 2-1 win against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.

Bjorkstrand, who missed the previous 13 games with a rib/oblique injury, scored the winner on a 3-on-2 with a snap shot glove side from the high slot after receiving a drop pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois.

"It's a nice play by [Dubois] driving (to the net) and making space for me," Bjorkstrand said. "Definitely had some time to shoot it."


[WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Rangers highlights]


Said Rangers coach David Quinn, "To give up a 3-on-2 with [27] seconds to go is just inexcusable. A really bad change, bad F3 at the wrong time. But we were playing with fire for a while, I thought. Just disappointing, but listen, we've got to move past it and get ready for Tuesday (against the New York Islanders)."

The Blue Jackets (26-16-8) have won five in a row, outscoring their opponents 16-3, and are 15-2-4 since Dec. 9.

"Right now, we're trying to ride this wave as best we can," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "We'll have some struggles along the way again, but I just believe the team will handle itself the right way."

Video: CBJ@NYR: Bjorkstrand wrists home tying goal

Igor Shesterkin made 29 saves, and Brady Skjei scored for the Rangers (23-20-4), who had won two straight and lost at home for the first time since Dec. 20 (six games).

"Really frustrating way to end," Skjei said. "Last minute of the game, you've got to bear down and can't give up a shot in the middle of the hash marks. Frustrating. We'll learn from it."

Skjei gave New York a 1-0 lead at 18:23 of the first period, scoring eight seconds after exiting the penalty box.

Video: CBJ@NYR: Skjei snipes home opening goal

After Dubois broke his stick on a pass along the left boards, Jacob Trouba collected the loose puck and sent a stretch pass to Skjei in the neutral zone. The pass missed and caromed off the end boards into the left face-off circle, where Skjei got to it and scored with a one-timer over Kivlenieks' left shoulder.

Kivlenieks, though, prevented the Rangers from extending the lead in the second period with seven saves, including a right-pad stop on Artemi Panarin's one-timer from the slot at 5:38.

"It gave me a little confidence," Kivlenieks said of the save on Panarin. "I got a little comfortable playing in that game and just went from there."

Video: CBJ@NYR: Kivlenieks shuts the door on Panarin

He made an impression his coach as well.

"I thought he was as calm as could be for his first game. Madison Square Garden, everything that comes with it. I was impressed," Tortorella said. "He made some key saves at key times."

Bjorkstrand tied it 1-1 at 6:08 with a shot from the top of the left circle that beat Shesterkin glove side. Ryan Strome poked the puck away from Dubois on a backcheck, and Panarin overskated it, allowing Bjorkstrand to skate into it with time and space.

"It just jumped out and I had a little time to shoot it," Bjorkstrand said. "I used their guy (Trouba) as a screen a little bit."


They said it

"Honestly, I still can't believe it happened. I'll probably realize it tomorrow or something. It's always been a dream. I know it's hard to get a game, and plus to win it, the first game you ever played. But the guys played really good in front of me." -- Blue Jackets goalie Matiss Kivlenieks

"I just didn't think we had a lot of energy for the third period. I thought our second period was OK, I didn't love our first. Just pretty much got what we deserved when the night ended." -- Rangers coach David Quinn


Need to know

Columbus previously won five in a row from Dec. 16-23. … The Blue Jackets did not have to go on the penalty kill for the fourth time this season. They are fifth in the NHL in fewest times shorthanded (136). … Rangers forward Brendan Lemieux had four hits in 13:49 of ice time in his return after missing the previous nine games because of a fractured hand. He started the game on the fourth line and finished it on the first with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. … Columbus has won six games when trailing after the second period this season, tied with the Calgary Flames for fourth most in the NHL.


What's next

Blue Jackets: Host the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, TVAS, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Rangers: Host the New York Islanders on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, MSG+, NHL.TV)

Video: Blue Jackets edge Rangers on Bjorkstrand's late goal

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