After a disappointing week - you can read about last night’s OT loss to Buffalo here and Monday’s OT loss to Tampa Bay here - the Jackets were looking to regain momentum against the Rangers tonight.
At the risk of beating a dead horse, I believe it’s still relevant to mention that tensions were especially high tonight because of Artemi Panarin’s return to the arena. The Jackets handily beat the Rangers 2-1 in New York on January 19, which is also notable because it was Matiss Kivlenieks first NHL win. How many backup-to-the-backup goalies can say they earned their first NHL win in Madison Square Garden? (No, seriously, if you know - please share).
Unfortunately, the same fate was not in the cards for the Jackets tonight - they fell to the Rangers 3-1. To be fair, it was 1-1 until the last three or so minutes, when the Jackets allowed two goals in. One was an empty-netter, but still.
The Rangers sure picked an interesting timeline throughout the game to score their goals - Jacob Trouba nailed a shot and Pavel Buchnevich finished on the rebound 22 seconds into the game. They then waited another 56 minutes to score their winning goals - Chris Kreider on the second one and Ryan Strome on the empty-netter.
Positives of the game:
- Panarin didn’t score.
- Kind of this? Now we just need to score:
The Blue Jackets 22 shots in the second period set a new single-period high this season. The previous high was 21 shots in the second period vs. Detroit on Feb. 7. #CBJ— CBJ Public Relations (@BlueJacketsPR) February 15, 2020
- Oliver Bjorkstrand played great, and rightfully earned the one goal on the board for the Jackets tonight:
Oliver Bjorkstrand this year vs. the Rangers:— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 15, 2020
Game 1 -- 10 shots on goal
Game 2 -- Two goals, winner in the last 30 seconds
Game 3 -- Goal. #CBJ
The Jackets played their best of the night in the second period, but they left that energy in the locker room before they began to play in the third. A sloppy penalty for too many men on the ice at 5:11 left in the third sealed the deal and cost them the game when Kreider scored right as the penalty expired.
Final: Rangers take a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets.— Jeff Svoboda (@JacketsInsider) February 15, 2020
The good news: #CBJ still have points in 26 of 30 games.
The bad news: Jackets have now lost four in a row for the first time since early December.
The Jackets are in a slump right now, for sure. These last couple games have been undoubtedly rough. Hopefully they’ll get their heads on straight and notch a W against a sluggish New Jersey Devils this weekend, and will be ready to go in a double header against Philly next week.