New York Rangers get payback against the Columbus Blue Jackets in convincing home win

Feb 28, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) controls the
Feb 28, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) controls the / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers are now back in the win column as they take the Columbus Blue Jackets down at the Garden with a 4-1 win. The lead in the division is back to 7 points as we approach the final stretch of the season, and the lights on Broadway are looking down at a team that currently sits on top of the NHL standings.

In the middle of the second period, Vincent Trocheck would lose a faceoff in the offensive zone. It would bounce off the linesman to the skates of Damon Severson, but he couldn't control it. It bounced off his skate and back off the linesman before Artemi Panarin was able to gather it and rip it home for his 34th goal of the season and haunts his former team once again. A lead in the second period put the Rangers in a good position.

An inadvertent collision at center ice saw Vincent Trocheck and Johnny Gaudreau make contact. A scrum ensued, which saw the only penalty called on Mathieu Olivier for cross-checking in the end, but Trocheck was originally assessed a minor so they could review the call. When they saw Trocheck did nothing wrong, it was taken off the board. Gaudreau went down the tunnel with an injury to his midsection, and we all hope he's okay.

On the ensuing powerplay, Chris Kreider would force a turnover off the stick of Erik Gudbransen who wouldn't clear the zone. Kreider has Artemi Panarin but opted to go to the third man joining the play that was Adam Fox. Fox fires it past Elvis Merzlikins for his 10th goal of the season and the Rangers lead is now two with five minutes to go in the period.

During some four-on-four hockey in the third period, the Blue Jackets would force a turnover along the boards from Igor Shesterkin along the boards. As they worked it out to the middle, Igor was able to make the first save, but Cole Sillinger was able to put the puck home past Shesterkin to cut the Ranger lead in half. A difficult few minutes for the blueshirts, but they still had the lead in this one.

With a minute left, Jimmy Vesey would fling the puck up the ice to Artemi Panarin who was looking at the empty net with Merzlikins on the bench. His shot was muffled by the defenseman coming back, but it found its way onto the blade of Chris Kreider, and he put his 30th of the season home and the two points were sealed with a bow in this one. Panarin would add a fourth to properly display how badly the Rangers outplayed the Jackets all night, this was a deserved victory.