New York Rangers Face Streaking Columbus Blue Jackets


In a battle of winning streaks, the Rangers play host to the NHL’s hottest team in a season series finale

Time: 7:00 pm EST

Location: Madison Square Garden-New York, NY

Tonight, the New York Rangers are playing for first overall in the Eastern Conference, as well as having the sights on the Presidents’ Trophy. The team is currently one point ahead of the Montreal Canadiens for the coveted title and still has four games remaining in the regular season. It would be the first time in 21 years, if the Rangers were to capture the award.

Having already clinched the Metropolitan Division last week, the Rangers are guaranteed home ice advantage through the first two rounds of the playoffs. If they win the Presidents’ Trophy, then the team is guaranteed home ice through all four rounds of the Stanley Cup post season, if they make it that far.

The Rangers welcome the Columbus Blue Jackets to Madison Square Garden for the last time this season. Previously, the two teams have met three times. The season series is 2-1, with the Rangers taking the last two meetings.

New York Rangers
New York Rangers /

New York Rangers

The Teams:

New York Rangers

(50-21-7 with 107 points, Metropolitan Division Champions)

The Rangers are primed to have their best season in franchise history, if they are able to win three of their remaining four games in the regular season. The last time the team won 50+ games was in the 2011-2012 season, where they won 51 games, en route to the Eastern Conference Final.

At home, the Rangers are 24-10-5. Their last win came last Saturday with a 6-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. The team is on a three-game winning streak and has scored at least three goals in each game.

Columbus Blue Jackets

(39-35-4 with 82 points, fifth place in the Metropolitan Division)

The Blue Jackets arrive in New York, being the hottest team right now. On the road, the Blue Jackets are 22-15-2.

They have won their past nine games, dating back to March 18th. Their wins have come against playoff-bound teams in the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, and New York Islanders. During this streak, they have averaged 4.33 goals per game, while holding their opponent to three or less goals. Needless to say, this team is not intimidated by anyone.

The team’s leading scorer, Nick Foligno, is having a career season. He has 70 points entering tonight, which is good for 12th best in the NHL. He has 30 goals and 40 assists, both of which are career highs. Foligno’s previous high in goals was 18 last season. In assists, his previous high was 32 with the Ottawa Senators in 2012.

He has a three-game point streak entering tonight, and has scored six points in his last five games. Foligno is coming off a hat-trick performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins last Saturday. In the three games played this season against the Rangers, Foligno has four points (one goal, three assists). For his career, he has 13 points (five goals, eight assists) in 26 games against New York.

Right behind him is third-year starter Ryan Johansen. He has 69 points (26 goals, 43 assists) this season. He has set career highs in points and assists. He is four shy of reaching 30 goals for his second straight season.

Along with complimentary players such as Scott Hartnell, Cam Atkinson, with youngsters Marko Dano and Boone Jenner, the team can return to the playoffs and become a force in the Eastern Conference, if they can avoid the injury bug which plagued them this season.


“The King” Vs. “Bob”

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to be in net for the Rangers. Since coming back from injury, he is 3-1 and has not give up more than two goals since his return against the Boston Bruins where he gave up four. Last game against the Devils, Lundqvist made 35 saves and almost had his 56th shutout of his career, if it were not for a late third period goal by the Devils. Lundqvist has not given up a power play goal in his past four games. The last time was against the Florida Panthers, back in February.

Lundqvist is 5-3-1 with a 2.56 GAA and save percentage of .913 in nine games for his career against the Blue Jackets.

Former Vezina-award winner Sergei Bobrovsky may get the start in goal for Columbus. He is on a roll helping the Blue Jackets during their nine-game winning streak, winning eight straight.

This season, Bobrovsky has fallen victim to injuries, which has limited his time on the ice. He has started 46 games this season. He is 28-17-2, a 2.73 GAA, and a .916 save percentage.

This season against the Rangers, he is 1-1 with a 2.02 GAA. For his career against the Blueshirts, Bobrovsky is 3-6-1 with a save percentage of .913 in 11 games.


D, Kevin Klein (broken arm)

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