The Columbus Blue Jackets downed former teammate Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers in Matiss Kivlenieks' NHL debut.
The first saw a lot of back and forth action between the Blue Jackets and Rangers, with neither team able to gain the upper hand until late in the period. Pierre-Luc Dubois' twig snapped on a pass to the front of the net and despite an outlet pass to Brady Skjei missing, and Skjei was able to pick up the bounce off the end boards and beat Kivlenieks over the shoulder. It was a tough break for the netminder as no one got back to help him out.
The Rangers took control of the game in the second, which put a lot of pressure on Kivlenieks, but he stepped up to the challenge by making save after save for the Jackets. Columbus managed to tilt the ice the other way in the last two minutes of the period, but were not able to capitalize on their chances.
Oliver Bjorkstrand – in his first game back from injury – picked up a loose puck in the Rangers zone and ripped a wrist shot top-shelf from the slot to put the Jackets on the board and tie the game.
With 26.5 seconds left in the game, Bjorkstrand struck again for the game-winning goal. Dubois dropped the puck to Bjorkstrand just inside the Rangers zone and took the defenseman with him, which allowed Bjorkstrand to to drag the puck into the slot and fire the puck to the opposite side of the sliding goalie. And that's all she wrote.
Josh Anderson has been skating and could be the next player to return from injury, but don't expect him return on Wednesday.
The Columbus Blue Jackets take on the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena, in their final game before the bye week and All-Star break. Puck drop is slated for 7:30 p.m.