A close game against the New York Rangers. Imagine that.
On Friday night in front of a sellout crowd, the Columbus Blue Jackets lost their fourth-straight game in dramatic fashion against Metropolitan Division rival New York Rangers by a score of 3-1.
After a slow start by the Blue Jackets, it became a back-and-forth affair the rest of the evening between the two Eastern Conference foes. The Blue Jackets finished with 38 shots to the Rangers' 24 - with both goaltenders standing on their heads throughout the night.
The Rangers controlled pace early in Nationwide Arena - seeing Paul Buchnevich score his 13th goal of the season just 22 seconds into the game.
The contest would remain scoreless for nearly the next 40 minutes, but the Blue Jackets finally broke through with less than two minutes remaining in the second period at the hands of red-hot Oliver Bjorkstrand.
This was Bjorkstrand's 12th goal in his last 14 games and 16th point. With now 19 goals on the season, he is just four goals behind tying his career-high in a single season, with 22 games remaining on the campaign. Plenty of time, right?
The third period saw an abundance of chances from both teams, including a point-blank denial on former Blue Jacket Artemi Panarin by Merzlikins, but no tally was put on the scoreboard until under the fight-minute mark, where Chris Kreider put the Rangers up for good with his 23rd of the season. New York then added an empty-net goal with 1:11 remaining.
Forward Josh Anderson is close to returning. Defenseman Ryan Murray is also skating, along with goaltender Joonas Korpisalo.
The Blue Jackets conclude the weekend with an away contest against the New Jersey Devils this Sunday. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m. in the Prudential Center.
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