BLUE JACKETS (32-12-4) at RANGERS (31-17-1)
7 p.m. ET; MSG 2, FS-O, NHL.TV
Blue Jackets team scope
Goaltender Joonas Korpisalo will start for the Columbus Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky will continue to rest after participating in the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game and not practicing Tuesday. Coach John Tortorella said Bobrovsky was sick prior to attending the event. "He's had a few days off here," Tortorella said. "It will be good for him. [Korpisalo] has done some good things for us so he'll go in tonight." The Blue Jackets are four points behind the Washington Capitals for first place in the Metropolitan Division but 5-7-0, including two straight losses (0-2-0), since their 16-game winning streak ended Jan. 5. "We all take responsibility," captain Nick Foligno said. "We're not playing to the standard we want to be at right now. This is an important time in the season where you need to be better, everyone is better. I think every guy in here feels that we can better." The Blue Jackets have allowed 14 goals in their past three games after giving up 26 during the winning streak. Tortorella was bothered by a 4-3 loss to the Nashville Predators on Thursday, when the Blue Jackets were outshot 18-5 in the second period. "I think I let it slide a little bit too much on how hard you have to play, what it is to win in this League," Tortorella said. "I've got to get them back."
Rangers team scope
Defenseman Marc Staal and forward Jesper Fast will return to the New York Rangers lineup. Staal missed nine games because of a concussion and Fast four because of an upper-body injury. The Rangers play five of their next six games and nine of their next 14 at Madison Square Garden but are 2-5-0 in their past seven games on home ice while being outscored 29-20. The Rangers, who are in the first wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, trail the Blue Jackets by five points for second place in the Metropolitan Division. The Blue Jackets have one game in hand. "Our home record needs to be better," said coach Alain Vigneault, who signed a contract extension with the Rangers that ESPN.com reported is worth $12.25 million for three seasons. "We're very aware of that. Obviously we need to play well in front of our net and it starts tonight. I love the fact that Columbus is coming in, one of the top teams in the League. It gets our attention, it gets our focus right away. We're going to have to play a real strong game and that's what I'm hoping we're going to be able to do." Vigneault's contract runs through 2019-20. "It was a pretty easy decision as far as you're a coach and you want to have a chance," he said. "You've got a first-class organization so it didn't take me long."
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Brandon Saad -- Alexander Wennberg -- Nick Foligno
Matt Calvert -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner -- William Karlsson -- Josh Anderson
Scott Hartnell -- Lukas Sedlak - Sam Gagner
Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones
Jack Johnson -- Ryan Murray
Scott Harrington -- Dalton Prout
Scratched: Dean Kukan
Injured: David Clarkson (back), Markus Nutivaara (undisclosed), David Savard (undisclosed)
Rangers projected lineup
Chris Kreider -- Derek Stepan -- Mats Zuccarello
Rick Nash -- Mika Zibanejad -- Pavel Buchnevich
Matt Puempel -- J.T. Miller -- Michael Grabner
Jimmy Vesey -- Brandon Pirri -- Jesper Fast
Ryan McDonagh -- Dan Girardi
Nick Holden -- Kevin Klein
Brady Skjei -- Marc Staal
Scratched: Oscar Lindberg, Adam Clendening
Injured: Kevin Hayes (lower body)
The Blue Jackets are carrying seven defensemen with Nutivaara sidelined and Kukan called up from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Monday. "It tests your depth," Tortorella said. "We were very fortunate for the first half of the year of staying injury free. It's kind of bit us here." Nutivaara has been working out off the ice and remains day to day without a set return date. Savard didn't practice Wednesday and won't play. He played in discomfort against the Predators after missing the previous three games. … Raanta is back from a lower-body injury sustained the Montreal Canadiens on Jan. 14. Goalie Magnus Hellberg was assigned to Hartford of the AHL on Jan. 25.
Foligno has two goals and one assist during a three-game point streak. Jones and Wennberg each have four assists in their past three games. … Kreider, Stepan and Zuccarello have combined for 16 goals and 27 assists in 14 games since Dec. 23. Lundqvist has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his past four games (3-1-0, 1.50 goals-against average, .945 save percentage, one shutout).