For two periods, the New York Rangers had the run of the play against the Columbus Blue Jackets and came away empty-handed. It was a different story in the third period, but still the Rangers managed to break through.
The Rangers got three goals in the final period – Derek Stepan, Derick Brassard and Carl Hagelin all scored – to defeat the Blue Jackets by a final of 3-1 on Friday. The win and the two points moves the Rangers into third in the Metropolitan Division.
The Toronto Maple Leafs occupy the first Wild Card spot in the East, and the Blue Jackets have the second, but only by one point on the Detroit Red Wings.
There were numerous storylines that developed throughout the evening in Columbus. Rick Nash, who played nine seasons with the Blue Jackets before he was traded to New York in the summer of 2012, was playing for the first time back in Columbus since the deal.
The Blue Jackets paid tribute to Nash during the first period. Of course, by the time the second period rolled around, it was friends off.
Nash started a massive scrum near the Columbus net when he shoved goalie Sergei Bobrovsky after a whistle late in the second period. He then fought former teammate Matt Calvert just 12 seconds into the third period.
Meanwhile, Bobrovsky was the busier of the two goalies, making 29 saves on 31 shots. He was particularly under siege through two periods, making 26 saves before the Rangers were able to solve him in the third.
Rangers’ defenseman John Moore left the game after the second period with an injury and did not return. According to the Rangers’ Twitter account, head coach Alain Vigneault did not offer specifics on what the injury was, only that Moore will be re-evaluated on Saturday.