Second period explosion propels Rangers over Blue Jackets

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider celebrates with defenseman Jacob Trouba after scoring a goal versus the Blue Jackets.
Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports

An onslaught of rapid-fire goals in the second period helped the New York Rangers trounce the Columbus Blue Jackets in a high-scoring contest on Saturday night, 5-3.

The showdown started out grim for the Rangers, as Columbus’ Jakub Voracek put his team on the scoreboard first during a power play nine minutes into the contest. Rangers wing Artemi Panarin would send the team roaring back, though, with a 3-on-2 goal later in the first period that featured a picturesque assist from defensemen Adam Fox. 

Panarin would later add his second goal of the game in the second period, when he fired off a wrist shot from the center of the Blue Jackets’ zone.

The assistant captain’s second period score came amid a trio of goals within 63 seconds — from him, Jacob Trouba and Chris Kreider — that were the “quickest three goals by the Rangers since Nov. 16, 1993,” according to NHL stat keepers. 

The 7-5 Blue Jackets’ Eric Robinson added a goal nine minutes into the second as well, which sent the Rangers into the final period against their Metropolitan Division rivals with a 4-2 lead.

Chris Kreider, though, would join Panarin in the game’s two-score club early in the third period during a Rangers power play that saw their lead extend to three, and put cold water on Columbus’ chance for a comeback. 

Kreider’s goal was his 11th of the season, and put him among the top-three goal scorers in the NHL so far this year.

The Blue Jackets held on, though, as 22-year-old Alexandre Texier scored on a ricochet goal with around seven minutes to go in the contest, and sparked a scrum between the teams as goalie Igor Shesterkin appeared to suffer an injury, and exited from the game shortly after — though the coaching staff later confirmed that his injuries were minor. 

In all, the team’s 5-goal performance was too much for the Blue Jackets to overcome, and the Rangers 

The team’s victory comes just days after the team’s last game, when they handed the dominating Florida Panthers their first loss of the season, after previously winning nine straight.  

It’s not all great news for the Rangers, however, as Saturday also saw the team place center Filip Chytil on the Injured Reserve, while elevating 29-year-old Greg McKegg to the official roster. Chytil was injured last week after a gruesome collision with a member of the Calgary Flames, which saw him stay for a prolonged period laying motionless on the ice. 

Now with eight wins and 20 total points, through 14 games played, the Broadway Blueshirts sit comfortably among the top-tier squads in the division, and just a few points behind the league-leaders. 

Meanwhile, the New York Islanders have given less hope to fans, as they sit much further to the bottom of the league, with just 12 points after 11 games played. 

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