Mika Zibanejad and Barclay Goodrow scored in the first period as the visiting New York Rangers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 on Monday night.
The Rangers bounced back from a 2-1 slump at home on Sunday night to dominate the first two periods of their 15th win in 22 games (15-4-3).
Zibanejad became just the sixth player in the team’s history to score 20 goals in at least six consecutive seasons with 7:21 left in the opening. It was also his eighth career season in which he scored at least 20 goals.
Goodrow scored his first career goal in man advantage with 58 seconds remaining.
Vitali Kravtsov also scored the eventual game winner, with Goodrow also assisting and Kaapokakko setting up New York’s first two goals.
Backup goaltender Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves with 2:15 left in the first, including a point-blank stop on Patrick Laing’s backhand attempt. He also made important stops to Gustav Nyquist, Adam Boqvist in the final minutes while Columbus played with additional attackers.
Andrew Peake scored early in the third for Columbus, their sixth loss in eight games (2-6-0). Columbus goaltender Elvis Melzlikins notched his 30 saves.
At 4-4, the Rangers took a 1-0 lead as the brackets cleared the puck from the defensive zone. Near center ice, Kakko moved the puck to Gibanejado, who used Columbus defense Timvani as a screen and fired a one-timer outside the post from the left circle.
The Rangers doubled their lead after Philippe Chittil dug the puck out from behind the net, Goodrow quickly moved to the right doorstep and Kandre Miller shot for Melzrikins.
Shortly after Columbus hit the first shot of the second, the Rangers were 3-0 with 8:13 remaining, Kravtsov reaching the middle of the crease with ease before redirecting a centering feed from Chitil past Merzlikin. .
Peeke lifted a rising wrist shot out of the slot into the net in a 4-on-4 match, ending Halak’s shutout bid in 81 seconds of the third.
–Field level media
https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/273382375/strong-start-powers-rangers-over-host-blue-jackets?utm_source=feeds.bignewsnetwork.com&utm_medium=referral Strong start empowers Rangers over hosts Blue Jackets