COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)Barclay Goodrow had a goal and an assist to lead New York to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday night, as the Rangers maintained their hold on third place in the Metropolitan Division.
Mika Zibanejad and Vitali Kravtsov also scored for New York, and Kaapo Kakko had two assists. Jaroslav Halak stopped 22 shots in his fourth straight win for the Rangers, who have won three of their last four games.
”When we’re playing fast and moving it, and we’re defending well, it leads to chances for us the other way,” Goodrow said. ”That’s when we’re most dangerous, when defending hard in the D-zone and competing. Ultimately it leads to scoring chances the other way.”
Andrew Peeke scored for the Blue Jackets, who have lost two straight at home and sit last in the division. Elvis Merzlikins stopped 30 shots for his fifth loss in six games.
New York dominated from the puck drop, as Columbus managed just four first-period shots.
The Rangers went ahead with 7:22 left in the first with a lightning wrister from Zibanejad that Merzlikins never saw, before Goodrow made it 2-0 on a power-play goal with 58 seconds remaining in the period.
”If you’re not skating, you’re chasing,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. ”And when you’re chasing, you’re taking penalties. It’s pretty simple.”
Kravtsov extended the Rangers lead at 11:47 of the second.
Peeke made it 3-1 with a 4-on-4 goal 1:21 into the third period.
”The first two periods, we were pretty dominant, and I loved the way we played,” Rangers coach Gerard Gallant said. ”They get that goal early in the third period and it puts a little scare into you. We played well, and we competed real hard tonight. I like the win.”
The Rangers’ Vincent Trocheck suited up for his 600th career NHL game.
DOWN AND OUT
Forward Chris Kreider missed his third straight game with an upper-body injury suffered Tuesday in the third period of the Rangers’ 4-3 shootout win over Minnesota. … Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo missed his second consecutive game for personal reasons.
Zibanejad’s first-period goal made it six straight seasons with at least 20 goals. He has eight points in his last nine games. … With his assist on Goodrow’s goal, K’Andre Miller extended his point streak to seven games.
HE SAID IT
”Nobody had any gas. We had a day off. There is no excuse. We played like we got in at 4 a.m. I have no idea why. It blows my mind.” – Larsen on the Blue Jackets’ effort
Rangers: Host Boston on Thursday night.
Blue Jackets: At Nashville on Tuesday night.
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