This one was tough. Looking to bounce back after the streak-breaking loss to the Capitals on Thursday, the Jackets flew out to a 4-1 lead before slowly giving it away, eventually losing 5-4 to the Rangers on home ice.
The Jackets were flying early, and opened the scoring just 1:54 into the game. After some good board work by Josh Anderson, Markus Nutivaara gathered the puck at the blue line and uncorked a heavy slapper, beating Rangers starter Henrik Lundqvist.
A few minutes later, the Jackets earned a powerplay when Nick Foligno received a high hit by Ryan McDonagh. With McDonagh in the box, the Jackets’ elite powerplay went to work, making it look easy. Sam Gagner did well to poke the puck into the corner to Foligno, and Foligno was able to send a between the legs pass right back to Gagner in front of the net. Gagner slid the puck cross-crease to Cam Atkinson, who made no mistake in burying the puck in the net.
The Rangers cut the lead to one when Oscar Lindberg potted his first of the year over the glove of Curtis McElhinney. It was a hell of a shot, but it seemed catchable.
After the final TV timeout of the opening period, the “4th” line put in a great shift, culminating in a beauty goal by Scott Hartnell, who batted a Gagner pass out of midair behind Lundqvist.
The Jackets would have two more powerplays that period, and despite some very pretty passing, they were unable to change the score.
Three minutes into the second frame Hartnell dropped a pass through the air to a streaking Lukas Sedlak, who gathered the puck and raced toward Lundqvist, beating the goaltender under the pads to give the Jackets a 4-1 lead.
From that point onward, the Rangers found their mojo.
Michael Grabner cut the lead in half after firing a shot above McElhinney’s glove (again), after skating in with speed down the wing. Adam Clendening would then score his first two goals of the season to eventually tie the game.
With less than a minute left and overtime looming, Seth Jones committed a horrific turnover at the New York blueline, leading to Grabner skating in alone on McElhinney. The Ranger sniper made no mistake in potting the late goal, sealing the victory for the Rangers.
The Jackets will have a chance to get over this game quickly, as they are back in action this evening against the Flyers.