The Columbus Blue Jackets responded to last night’s embarrassing defeat with a gutsy effort against the division leading New York Rangers. The Jackets salvaged the season series, defeating the Rangers by a final score of 5-3. Captain Boone Jenner willed his team to victory with his first ever four point night. His line consisting of Gus Nyquist and Patrik Laine also had strong games for the Jackets. Sean Kuraly added two goals, including an empty netter to seal the deal. Joonas Korpisalo may have played his best game of the season coming up with some HUGE clutch saves down the stretch. Brad Larsen can sleep soundly tonight.
Here’s how it went down.
The Blue Jackets picked up right where they left off last night, allowing a goal in the first two minutes of the game. Of course it was former Blue Jacket, Artemi Panarin, who found the back of the net. It was his 3rd goal and 6th point in the season series.
1-0 Rangers (Panarin from Fox and Lindgren)
On his very next shift, Panarin added to his point totals when Barclay Goodrow beat Korpisalo from the right circle. The Rangers scored on 2 of their first 3 shots. It wasn’t looking good for our Blue Jackets.
2-0 Rangers (Goodrow from Schneider and Panarin)
Shortly after the Rangers jumped out to a two goal lead, it was the Jackets turn to answer. Patrik Laine carried the puck into the zone and successfully pulled off a deke on the Rangers’ defenseman and slid the puck across the crease to Gus Nyquist who was crashing the net. Nyquist directed the puck past Georgiev with his skates to bring the Jackets back to within a goal. Rangers coach, Gerrard Gallant considered challenging, but thought better of it and the goal would stand.
2-1 Rangers (Nyquist from Laine and Jenner)
Just after the goal, the Jackets had an opportunity to draw even on the power play when Barclay Goodrow went off for tripping Jake Voracek.
After a few clears by the Rangers, the Jackets wasted little time once they gained possession in the offensive zone. Zach Werenski fired a wrister from the point that Boone Jenner tipped past Georgiev.
2-2 (Jenner from Werenski and BJORKSTRAND)
After four goals were scored in eight minutes, the game settled down a bit. With just over five minutes remaining in the period, a race to a loose puck led to Ryan Lindgren holding Oliver BJORKSTRAND who had beat him in the foot race, putting the Jackets back on the power play.
The Jackets were unable to capitalize on the man advantage, only generating one shot. Each goalie was forced to make one strong save in the remaining minutes, and the period ended knotted at two goals apiece.
The second period started off similar to the first with the Jackets allowing a glorious scoring chance to Artemi Panarin. Thankfully, this time he didn’t capitalize, missing the net. Yegor Chinakhov had a chance of his own shortly after that Georgiev was able to get just enough of. The kid needs to keep ripping pucks and the goals will come. Barclay Goodrow missed a GAPING net five minutes in when Adam Fox faked out the entire defense including Korpisalo. Goodrow took the pass at the left circle and hit iron on the wide open net. That’s one that should keep him up tonight.
The Blue Jackets were able to make the Rangers pay for that miss just under two minutes later when Max Domi found Sean Kuraly in front of the net alone to shovel the pass behind Georgiev who had been distracted by Emil Bemstrom battling in front of the net.
GOAL 7️⃣ FOR NUMBER 7️⃣ pic.twitter.com/NyKas5cRtJ— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 28, 2022
3-2 Jackets (Kuraly from Domi and Werenski)
Eric Robinson had a chance to extend the lead a few minutes later after taking a stretch pass from Gavin Bayreuther, only to have the puck roll off his stick as he tried to get the puck back on his forehand.
The Jackets kept the pressure on and were rewarded with seven-and-a-half minutes remaining. The Rangers were unable to clear their zone and the Jackets’ best line of the night made them pay. Laine, Nyquist and Jenner were buzzing around the zone creating turnovers until Boone Jenner found a loose puck at the side of the net and beat Georgiev short side.
CBJ stands for Captain Boone Jenner pic.twitter.com/1wwT8UTznT— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) January 28, 2022
4-2 Jackets (Jenner from Laine)
At that point, the Jackets had 4 goals on just 10 shots. Not a great night for Georgiev. The Rangers thought they had brought the game to within one goal when Barclay Goodrow came in on a breakaway and beat Korpisalo, but once again couldn’t beat the post. He’s going to need some ZzzQuil to get to sleep tonight after those missed chances.
The Jackets managed to kill off the remaining time to exit the frame still up a pair of goals. The second was a rare period where you could confidently say the Blue Jackets were the better team.
The Rangers suffered a huge blow on the opening shift of the third. Star defenseman, Adam Fox, left the game and did not return after a hit from Vladislav Gavrikov. It was a pretty nondescript hit, but Fox appeared to be favoring his wrist as he headed down the tunnel.
Joonas Korpisalo had to be sharp in the opening minutes of the frame to maintain the two goal lead. As expected, the Rangers began the final period with a flurry of shots to try and get back in the game.
After spending most of the night complaining about the lack of power play opportunities for his team, Gerrard Gallant’s team finally got a chance with the man advantage with 14 minutes left in the game. Jake Bean was called for holding behind the Jackets’ net.
The Rangers made the most of their opportunity. Mika Zibanejad ripped a wicked one-timer off a feed from, you guessed it, Artemi Panarin.
4-3 Jackets (Zibanejad from Panarin and Schneider)
The push was on for the Rangers. Barely three minutes later Jake Bean was off to the box again, this time for interference. The Rangers came inches from tying the game when Jacob Trouba rang a heavy slap shot off the post. Joonas Korpisalo made his best save of the night moments later, robbing Ryan Strome as he drove the net, taking a beautiful feed from Alexis Lafreniere.. It wasn’t pretty, but the Jackets were successful killing the penalty.
After the kill, the Jackets got back on their toes briefly, forcing Georgiev to make a couple saves. It wasn’t long before the Rangers had the Jackets back on their heels trying to defend the one goal lead. It felt like the Rangers were already playing with an extra man on the ice with over four minutes left to go, pressuring the Jackets and not allowing them to exit the zone. Joonas Korpisalo stood tall making a few very strong saves.
When the Rangers finally did pull their netminder, the Jackets promptly took advantage. Zach Werenski found Sean Kuraly from behind the net. Kuraly sailed the puck about 150 feet down the ice into the empty cage.
5-3 Jackets (Kuraly from Werenski and Jenner)
Just to make things interesting, Gus Nyquist decided to take a tripping penalty and put the Rangers back on the powerplay. It quickly turned into a two-man advantage with the goalie pulled, but the Rangers were unable to convert.
Jackets win 5-3
The Blue Jackets hit the road and are back in action on Sunday night when they take on the basement-dwelling Montreal Canadiens.