The games will be coming quickly as the Rangers begin a six-game stretch over the course of nine days starting in Columbus (7:00 P.M. ET, MSG).

RangersNHL RankingsBlue Jackets
12thNHL Standing Rank20th

Previous Game

               Monday night, the Rangers shocked the NHL universe and handed the Florida Panthers their first regulation loss of the season. Like previous games, the Blueshirts were badly outshot 45-18. Florida attempted over 90 shots in the contest. The Rangers had a 4-0 lead entering the third period and they gave their fans a heart attack as the Panthers were able to claw it back to 4-3 with 40 seconds left. Igor Shesterkin made 42 saves and was able to help the Rangers secure their seventh win of the season.

               The player of the game for the Rangers I will award to K’Andre Miller. Miller had a couple of rough games in western Canada but he bounced back against one of the best in the league. He was strong on defense and he chipped in with a highlight reel end-to-end goal.

               “I’ve been watching a lot of McDavid film, just trying to emulate him,” said Miller as he smirked.


               The Blueshirts haven’t played a game in the past four days, but they will be playing a lot with a six-game stretch in nine days. With three days to practice, the Rangers will be hoping to improve on their even-strength play as that has been their biggest problem to start the season. With an average of just 25.69 shots per game according to, the Rangers are dead last in the league in that category by over two shots.

               Filip Chytil who missed the previous game with an upper-body injury did not practice at all during the week and will likely miss Saturday night’s game in Columbus. The Czech native is still listed as day-to-day and will likely return sometime over the next nine days.

               With a lot of games rapidly approaching, the Blueshirts will need good goaltending from both netminders. During the nine days stretch, there are two sets of back-to-backs with the first set starting in Columbus. Expect goaltender Alex Georgiev to get at least two of the starts. Shesterkin was able to shutout the Blue Jackets in the first meeting at Madison Square Garden. Head coach Gerard Gallant hasn’t given any indication on who will start, but whichever goaltender starts on Saturday, expect the other to start on Sunday against the Devils.

Artemi Panarin will likely get the same treatment Adam Fox received in Calgary. The 30-year-old played two seasons with the Blue Jackets before departing for the Rangers in free agency. Panarin scored 169 points in 160 games during his tenure with Columbus.

Columbus Blue Jackets

               The Blue Jackets enter this game having won three of their past four games including two past regulation time. During that stretch, they managed to beat preseason Stanley Cup favorites – the Colorado Avalanche twice. The good news for the Rangers is they are also in the midst of a back-to-back and Columbus was defeated by the Capitals by the score of 4-3 on Friday night. This could give the Rangers a slight boost at the start of the game as they will be coming off a long rest while Columbus played less than 24 hours ago.

               Elvis Merzlikins will get the start in goal as he had the night off on Friday. Merzlikins holds a 5-1-0 record with a 1.98 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. The Latvian’s only blemish has been the defeat to the Rangers at the end of October.

               Oliver Bjorkstrand leads the Blue Jackets in points with 14 in eleven games. And ex-Flyer Jakub Voracek is currently averaging an assist per game with eleven assists in eleven games.

What to Watch

               The thing I will be looking out for will be how the Rangers come out. Can they come out flying and take away that home crowd advantage in a key divisional game? In addition, will there be any adjustments to the five-on-five play for the Rangers which has been their Achilles heel to start the season?

Projected Lineup










Leave a Reply