The New York Rangers went 3-1-0 on their first major road trip of the season. The one loss came on Friday night, though the game winning goal was scored by a guy who needed 36 stitches in the middle of the game.
So, all-in-all, not a bad trip. Doesn’t remove the temporary sting brought on by the one loss, however.
Matt Calvert, returning after receiving stitches to repair a nasty injury sustained while blocking a Nick Holden shot, nullified a Rangers comeback on Friday night, scoring the game winner in the Columbus Blue Jackets’ 4-2 win over the Rangers. The loss ended a three-game winning streak for the Rangers.
The Rangers (13-5-0) almost completed a comeback, as they fell behind 2-0 in the early stages of the second period. William Karlsson had opened the scoring for Columbus in the first period, one that featured a mere three shots each for both teams, before Sam Gagner doubled it with a goal of his own. However, Michael Grabner struck yet again for the Rangers, his 11th of the season, to draw them closer before Mika Zibanejad knotted it up.
However, a recovered Calvert, providing inspiration to hockey players everywhere, was there to provide heroics.
Swept by the Rangers last year, Calvert and the Blue Jackets ensured it wouldn’t
happen again, as he put in a shorthanded goal off assists from Karlsson and Ryan Murray. The Rangers peppered the net, outscoring Columbus 11-7 over the final 20 minutes, but were unable to recover, with Boone Jenner putting in an empty netter in the final second to make it a 4-2 final.
Columbus (9-4-2) have now won seven of their past nine, and have also won seven in a row at Nationwide Arena. The two teams will meet again on January 7, also in Columbus.
The Rangers next play on Sunday night against the Florida Panthers (7:00, MSG).