RANGERS (13-10-3) at BLUE JACKETS (11-12-4)
7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-O, MSG2, NHL.TV
Artemi Panarin will face the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first time since joining the New York Rangers when they meet at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.
The forward, who signed a seven-year, $81.5 million contract (average annual value $11.64 million) with the Rangers on July 1, played two seasons with the Blue Jackets, with 169 points (55 goals, 114 assists) in 160 games. He is New York's leading scorer with 33 points (12 goals, 21 assists) in 26 games, including 27 points (eight goals, 19 assists) in his past 19 games.
The Rangers are 4-1-1 in their past six games after going 2-3-1 in their previous six.
Andrew Peeke will make his NHL debut for the Blue Jackets, who have lost two straight and are 2-4-0 in their past six games after going 4-1-1 in their previous six games. The defenseman from Parkland, Florida, a second-round pick (No. 34) in the 2016 NHL Draft, played three seasons at Notre Dame before turning pro. He was recalled from Cleveland of the American Hockey League on Monday.
Players to watch
Rangers center Mika Zibanejad has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games.
Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo is 5-2-0 with a 2.29 goals-against average, .916 save percentage and one shutout in his past seven starts.
They said it
"Not a regular game for me, a different game. I'll try to show the best that I can." -- Rangers forward Artemi Panarin on his return to Columbus
"I've been working hard to get to this day to help this team win games and get to this level." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Andrew Peeke on his NHL debut
Rangers projected lineup
Brendan Lemieux -- Mika Zibanejad -- Kaapo Kakko
Artemi Panarin -- Ryan Strome -- Chris Kreider
Jesper Fast -- Filip Chytil -- Pavel Buchnevich
Boo Nieves -- Brett Howden -- Brendan Smith
Brady Skjei -- Jacob Trouba
Libor Hajek -- Tony DeAngelo
Ryan Lindgren -- Adam Fox
Scratched: Micheal Haley
Injured: Marc Staal (ankle), Greg McKegg (lower body)
Blue Jackets projected lineup
Gustav Nyquist -- Boone Jenner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand
Sonny Milano -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Josh Anderson
Nick Foligno -- Alexandre Texier -- Cam Atkinson
Emil Bemstrom -- Riley Nash -- Alexander Wennberg
Dean Kukan -- Seth Jones
Ryan Murray -- David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov -- Andrew Peeke
Scratched: Scott Harrington, Eric Robinson
Injured: Brandon Dubinsky (wrist), Markus Nutivaara (upper body), Kole Sherwood (oblique), Zach Werenski (shoulder)
The Rangers did not hold a morning skate. … Staal and McKegg each could return Thursday, New York coach David Quinn said Wednesday. Staal, a defenseman, has missed the past 12 games, McKegg, a forward, the past five. ... Peeke replaces Harrington and Bemstrom goes in for Robinson.
The Blue Jackets are 5-0-1 in their past six games against the Rangers. … Nash will play his 500th NHL game. … Columbus coach John Tortorella is one win from tying Darryl Sutter (634) for 15th place on the NHL all-time list.