NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, January 6th
(All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (18-20-4) at New York Rangers (21-20-2), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Rangers experienced an offensive explosion
in their last outing, and they hope to carry that scoring touch into Monday
when they host the Columbus Blue Jackets at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers trounced the Toronto Maple Leafs by a 7-1 score on Saturday to
complete a five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 mark. It was the highest goal
output of the season for New York, which reached seven goals for the first
time since an 8-4 win over Buffalo on April 13 of last season.
The six-goal margin of victory was the largest for the Rangers since a 7-0 win
against Philadelphia on March 6, 2011. New York also registered seven or more
goals in Toronto for the first time since winning at 8-2 at Maple Leaf Gardens
on March 14, 1990.
New York grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first period and extend that cushion to
five goals before Toronto finally reached the scoreboard late in the second
period. Dominic Moore scored twice and backup goaltender Cam Talbot had 25
saves to help the Rangers win for the third time in four games and rebound
from Friday's 5-2 loss in Pittsburgh.
"I know the guys were ready last night. We turned the page on it, we analyzed
it and got ready for tonight," said Rangers coach Alain Vigneault about
bouncing back from the loss to the Penguins.
Carl Hagelin, Benoit Pouliot, Chris Kreider, Brad Richards and Brian Boyle
also scored for the Rangers on Saturday.
New York hopes to carry some momentum from its blowout win into tonight's home
tilt. The Blueshirts are just 8-10-2 at MSG this season, but have won two
straight as the host. Beginning with Monday's tilt, the Rangers will play five
of six and eight of their next 10 in NYC.
Rangers forward Rick Nash will play his second career game against his former
club tonight. Nash, who Columbus selected with the first overall pick of the
2002 draft, spent nine seasons with the Blue Jackets before being traded to
New York in the summer of 2012. He is still the franchise's all-time leader in
goals, assists, points and games played.
New York hosted Nash's old club back on Dec. 12 and the Blue Jackets recorded
a 4-2 win. Nash failed to register a point and was a minus-two in the game.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers have split two meetings this season, with New
York notching a 4-2 win at Columbus on Nov. 7 when Nash was sidelined by a
Columbus expects to have No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky back in the crease
on Monday, after the reigning Vezina Trophy winner served as the backup to
Curtis McElhinney for the last two games. Bobrovsky hasn't played since
suffering a strained groin on Dec. 3, but he should make his return tonight
after McElhinney was shelled for six goals in Saturday's blowout loss in St.
After blanking the Phoenix Coyotes in a 2-0 win on Thursday, McElhinney earned
another start in St. Louis, but only stopped 31-of-37 shots.
Artem Anisimov and Mark Letestu scored for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 1-2-0
on a four-game road trip that ends tonight.
"There's no excuses for what happened tonight," said Letestu. "The defense did
good, we just didn't come back and give them any help tonight."
The Rangers have won four of the last six meetings against Columbus and the
Blue Jackets halted a two-game slide at MSG with their win on Dec. 12.
01/06 10:46:11 ET