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|4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 13, 2017
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 14,378
Jackets aiming for consistency vs. Rangers
New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
- The Rangers beat the Avalanche, 4-2, at home on Saturday night, winning their season-high tying fifth straight tilt with the triumph. Including each of its last four victories, New York has tallied four or more goals 28 times in 2016-17 -- most of any team in hockey.
- Columbus defeated Detroit, 2-1, at Nationwide Arena on Saturday night, snapping its two-game home losing streak in the process. With their victory over the Wings, the Blue Jackets now have 35 wins on the season -- one more than they had all of 2015-16.
- The Jackets have taken two of three from the Blueshirts this season, scoring four or more times in each contest. With a victory tonight, Columbus will have more single-season wins over New York than in any other campaign all-time.
- Kevin Klein lit the lamp twice Saturday night, recording his second-career multi-goal performance, and giving him three markers on the season overall. Klein has 10 points (3g, 7a) in 41 career skates against the Blue Jackets -- his second-highest point total against any NHL opponent (has 12 points against Chicago).
- Boone Jenner had a goal and a helper Saturday night, giving him 10 markers and 10 assists on the season overall. Including Jenner, the Blue Jackets have nine different skaters with a least 10 goals in 2016-17 -- one shy of tying the clubs' single-season franchise record of 10 set in 2005-06.
- The Blue Jackets haven't potted a power-play goal in seven straight home tilts -- the longest streak of its kind in franchise history. New York hasn't allowed a PPG in four straight road contests (opponents are 0-for-10 during streak).
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- Tarasenko scores 2 as Blues beat Preds
- Hurricanes get G Darling from Blackhawks
- Crosby nets 2, Pens beat Caps in Game 1
- Sens score late, edge Rangers in opener
Monday's matchup between the Columbus Blue Jackets (35-14-5) and the New York Rangers (36-18-3) promises to be a compelling battle between Metropolitan Division opponents.
The Rangers, currently fourth in the division, are riding a five-game win streak and have won eight of their last 10. Columbus holds the second rank in the division but has fought to find consistency as of late. They have gone 8-9-1 since their franchise record 16-game win streak earlier this season.
"There's some inexperience in this group," Jackets head coach John Tortorella said. "But we have to grow out of that. These are games that a lot of guys are wishing they were playing the last couple years, games that mean something. (We need to) embrace it. We have to go with the attitude that 'safe is death.' I don't want us to be afraid to make a mistake. Let's take a chance. Let's make a decision and let's go. I think we'll have a much better opportunity to have consistency that way."
The teams will be playing their fourth of the five-game season series. New York holds the edge over the Blue Jackets both all-time (15-10-1-1), and when playing at Nationwide Arena (8-7-0-0). The Rangers have won eight of their last 10 vs. Columbus dating back to Jan 16, 2015.
"We are a confident group," Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist said. "We believe in each other we believe we can raise our game when we really have to."
New York beat the Colorado Avalanche Saturday 4-2 in a game that marked Lundqvist's 400th NHL win. He's just the 12th goaltender in the league, and the first European born goaltender to reach that milestone.
"His preparation and focus is up there with the top players I've coached," Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said. "He wants to do well and he wants this team to do well. I'm happy he got this done here tonight."
Lundqvist has 26 wins this season, but he is not the only player New York is counting on when it comes to coming out on the right side of games. J.T. Miller leads the team in points (18-27-45) and is riding a six game point streak (2-8-10), and four of the last games have been multi-point outings for the forward.
Derek Stepan (12-28-40) has the most points against the Blue Jackets among active Rangers (7-9-16) and has scored a point in nine of the last 11 games.
Michael Grabner is the second ranked Ranger for points against Columbus. He's scored seven goals and five assists in 12 games, including a hat trick during New York's last game at Nationwide Arena Jan. 7.
Since the All-Star break, Columbus has been riding the performance of the line centered by Brandon Dubinsky with Boone Jenner and Cam Atkinson on the wings. The grouping has combined for six goals and eight assists in the six games. Atkinson is fourth overall in the league in goals scored (27) and is tied for third overall in game winning goals (6) including the deciding tally in a 2-1 win Saturday against Detroit.
"Dubinsky has cranked it up here," Jenner said. "You can see he's playing well and making a lot of great plays on both sides of the puck and same with Cam, he got another huge goal for us (against the Red Wings)."
Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is second in the NHL with 30 wins and tied for sixth in the league with a .926 save percentage.
Updated February 12, 2017