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Rangers Take Winning Streak Into Columbus

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

After a perfect four-game homestand, the Rangers take their five-game winning streak on the road Monday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Blueshirts completed the four-game homestand sweet with a 4-2, come-from-behind victory Saturday night against the Colorado Avalanche that saw Henrik Ludnqvist make 32 saves for his 400th career victory. He is just the 12th goaltender in NHL history to reach that feat, and he did so in the fewest games.

Kevin Klein scored twice while Rick Nash (game-winner) and Kevin Hayes each had one goal in the win.

The Rangers did not announce a starter for Monday's game. If it's Lundqvist, it'd be his 12th straight start for the Blueshirts. He's 8-1 in his last nine decisions, and is 7-1-0 in his last nine appearances against the Blue Jackets.

If Antti Raanta gets the call, it'd be his first start since Jan. 14 in Montreal, where he left the game after the first period with an injury. He's appeared in one game since then against these same Blue Jackets on Jan. 31, when he allowed three goals on 10 shots in the loss.

Monday's game is the fourth of five meetings between these Metropolitan Division rivals, and the third and final in Columbus. The last time New York paid Columbus a visit was on Jan. 7, with the Rangers winning in dramatic fashion on a goal by Michael Grabner with less than 20 seconds remaining. The goal was Grabner's third of the night.

Columbus enters Monday's contest tied with Pittsburgh with 75 points in second place in the division. They're 5-4-1 in their last 10 and are coming off a 2-1 win over Detroit Friday night.

Cam Atkinson is having a career-year for the Blue Jackets with 49 points in 54 games, just four away from his total from a season ago. Youngster Alexander Wennberg has 44 points in 54 contests, while rookie defenseman Zach Weresnki has eight goals and 23 assists for 31 points.

Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky has returned to his 2013 Vezina form this season, going 30-11-3 with a 2.17 GAA and a .926 SV% with three shutouts. Bobrovsky, though, has lost two of his last four starts.

Columbus is in the top-5 in the NHL in both goals for (175) and goals against (121) this season.

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