Take a deep breath.
The Blue Jackets, for the third straight year, are on to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
And it should come as no surprise that it wasn't easy.
They were pushed to the limit by the New York Rangers, but despite some late adversity, hung in there and punched their ticket with a 3-2 shootout win at Madison Square Garden.
Artemi Panarin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period, and also the game-deciding shootout goal, to clinch a spot for the Blue Jackets. Sergei Bobrovsky was excellent between the pipes and gave Columbus a chance down the stretch as the Rangers continued to push.
Panarin's goal had the Blue Jackets ahead until the dying seconds of regulation, but the Rangers didn't quit. Pavel Buchnevich scored to tie the game, 2-2, with 6.1 seconds left in regulation, and after no damage done in overtime, it was on to the shootout. Bobrovsky was a perfect 3-for-3 and Panarin's goal was the lone tally.
Defenseman Ryan Murray missed his 22nd game in a row with an upper body injury. Fellow blueliner Adam McQuaid is day-to-day with what's believed to be a concussion suffered against Montreal last week.
The Blue Jackets conclude the regular season with a Saturday night matchup against the Ottawa Senators. Game time is 7 p.m. ET at Canadian Tire Centre.
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