|4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET23:00 GMT7:00 4:00 PM MST6:00 PM EST3:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ETNaN:� BRT, October 13, 2017
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio Attendance: 15,342
Rangers hope to get going vs. Blue Jackets
New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
- The Rangers are 7-2-0 in road games versus the Blue Jackets since the start of the 2013-14 season, their most road wins versus any single opponent over that span. However, each of the last two games played between the teams in Columbus (each were Rangers wins) were decided by a single goal, and all but one of the nine games were decided by two or fewer goals.
- The Rangers lost, 3-1, at home versus the Blues on Tuesday to fall to 1-3-0 on the season. New York fell behind early, allowing two first-period goals; the Rangers' are allowing 2.25 goals per first period this season, most in the NHL.
- The Blue Jackets won, 2-1, in overtime at Carolina on Tuesday to move to 2-1-0 on the season, Columbus' first game of the season that did not end in regulation. The Blue Jackets are looking to win at least three of their first four games for the fourth time in franchise history (2003-04, 2009-10 and 2014-15).
- Mika Zibanejad scored his fifth goal of the season on Tuesday versus St. Louis, tied with two others for the second most in the NHL (Alex Ovechkin -- eight). Zibanejad has lit the lamp in all four of the Rangers' games to start the season, the first Ranger to score a goal in the team's first four games of a season since Rick Nash in 2014-15.
- Sergei Bobrovsky notched his second win of the season (he is 2-0-0) at Carolina on Tuesday. The goal Bobrovsky allowed in the third period was the first he has allowed all season; his .985 save percentage (66/67) is the best among goalies with multiple starts this season.
- Sonny Milano scored each of the Blue Jackets' two goals on Tuesday, his first career multi-goal game. Milano has lit the lamp in all three games this season, just the second player in franchise history to score a goal in each of the team's first three games (Kristian Huselius scored a goal in each of Columbus' first three games in 2010-11).
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Now is not the time for the New York Rangers to hit the panic button.
Yes, they sit in last place in the Metropolitan Division with just a win and two points, but they're just four games into the season. It's not a time to change everything, but the players know the results have to change soon.
"It's important that we get the urgency and realize how important the next game is and the game after that," said Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist after New York dropped a 3-1 home decision to St. Louis on Tuesday night. "You have to see it as a big game every night."
The next big game for the Rangers is Friday night, when they travel to Columbus and face the division rival Blue Jackets.
Lundqvist has had a hand in all three losses. He has allowed at least two first-period goals in each of the three losses, but he's by far not the only concern so far.
New York's penalty kill has only stopped 68.8 percent of its opponents' power-play chances, the third-worst in the league. The power play is a different story as it's tied for second best at 31.2 percent.
Mika Zibanejad is a big reason for the man-advantage success. The 24-year-old Swedish center has netted four of his team-best five goals on the power play.
But coach Alain Vigneault hinted after Tuesday's loss that some changes may come before the Columbus game.
"The other two lines right now, we are looking for a little bit more chemistry to create a little bit more," he said.
After splitting a pair of regulation games last weekend to open the season, Columbus pulled out a 2-1 overtime win at Carolina on Tuesday. Sonny Milano scored both goals in the win and currently leads the team with four goals.
The 21-year-old rookie right winger has scored in all three games this season. He tied Kristian Huselius' team record by scoring in the first three games. But Milano told The Columbus Dispatch on Wednesday that he's trying to take everything in stride.
"This has been a lot of fun," Milano said. "Obviously, my dream growing up has been to play in the NHL. Getting a couple of goals is a great feeling. The first one was amazing. Now I just have to treat it like a business. I just have to keep playing my game, not get too high or too low."
After winning his second Vezina Trophy last season, Sergei Bobrovsky has continued his sharp play into this season. In the two games he's played, he allowed just one goal in 67 shots. Seven of those shots came in the extra period Tuesday against the Hurricanes after he gave up his only goal of the season with 1:15 left in the third period.
Both teams will be playing back-to-back games this weekend. After Columbus, the Rangers return home to face New Jersey. The Blue Jackets travel to Minnesota on Saturday night.
Updated October 12, 2017