Tuesday, January 07, 2014
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Blue Jackets pull out shootout win over Rangers

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[January 07, 2014]  NEW YORK — The Columbus Blue Jackets recognize what goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky gives them every time he takes the ice for them.

A chance to win.

"He was great for us in the shootout. He's a great shootout goalie for us," defenseman Jack Johnson said after Bobrovsky made 40 saves in regulation and overtime, then stopped both shots he faced in a shootout as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the New York Rangers 4-3 Monday night at Madison Square Garden.

Right winger Cam Atkinson and center Ryan Johansen scored in the shootout for Columbus. Bobrovsky gloved left wing Mats Zuccarello's snap shot and stopped Nash's backhand attempt to salt away the win for the Blue Jackets (19-20-4), got goals in regulation from center Brandon Dubinsky, Atkinson and defenseman James Wisniewski.

Left winger Rick Nash scored twice and center Brian Boyle added a goal for New York (21-20-3). Henrik Lundqvist made 36 saves for the Rangers.

"It would've been nice to get that other point," Nash said. "To lose it in the shootout is disappointing. We've got to come out a lot better and we can't keep making mistakes that end up in the back of our net."

After New York entered the third period trailing 3-1, Boyle and Nash scored goals in a span of 2:02 to tie the game. While Columbus had a slight advantage in shots in the third — 13-11 — it was the Rangers who had the better of play.

"I thought our third period was right there where it needed to be," right winger Ryan Callahan said. "We showed some character coming back. Right from the start of the third, we attacked them hard, we had chances.

"It's bittersweet when you tie it up like that but end up losing in the shootout."

The third period was a continuation of what transpired over the opening 40 minutes, in which both teams alternated momentum swings.

The Rangers opened the game attacking and were the better team in the first period, even though the score at intermission was 1-1. Dubinsky opened the scoring at 17:07 by poking a Wisniewski rebound under Lundqvist. Nash tied the game exactly two minutes later.

Columbus took control in the second, aided by a boarding call and game misconduct on Chris Kreider. The Rangers left winger shouldered Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin into the half-wall 21 seconds into the period. Tyutin was limited to one, 12-second shift after the hit.

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"You take a guy like that out of your lineup — he plays 20-plus minutes and plays in every situation — there's a big hole there," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "But all the other defensemen stepped up. I thought Jack (Johnson) in particular, that was one of the best games I've ever seen him play. To me he was a man tonight when you needed him to be. The other guys did a good job too. We needed them too. There was a hole there."

Kreider was not available to the media when the Rangers room was opened to the media.

"If you look at the replay — I looked at the replay — he tried to stop just before (making contact)," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of the hit. "It seemed like he stopped and sort of a follow-through from their player and anytime a guy gets pushed into the boards the way he did, the referees don't have much of a choice." Vigneault noted he did not ask the officiating crew — Francis Charron and Dan O'Rourke — for an explanation, and does not think Kreider will be suspended by the NHL for the hit.

Columbus surged after the ejection. Atkinson gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead 1:01 into the period when he beat Lundqvist on a breakaway for his 11th of the season. Wisniewski pushed the advantage to 3-1 at 16:47 when he beat the New York goaltender top shelf.

NOTES: Monday night's game marked the third time the newly minted Metropolitan Division rivals met. The Rangers and Blue Jackets will meet once more, March 21 at the Nationwide Arena. ... The Rangers kept the same lineup as the one that authored a 7-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. "We have to start getting some traction at home," LW Ryan Callahan said after the team's morning skate at its Westchester, N.Y., training facility. ... Columbus' scratches were D Dalton Prout (upper-body injury) and C Derek MacKenzie (suspended). ... The Rangers scratched LW Daniel Carcillo and D Justin Falk. ... New York has earned 14 points in their last 11 games. "We want to get our points by getting the lead, playing with the lead and winning games that way," Rangers defenseman Dan Girardi said. ... Dubinsky's goal was his first in three career games against the Rangers, his former team. The Rangers traded Dubinsky, center Artem Anisimov, defenseman Tim Erixon and a draft pick to Columbus for Nash in July 2012. "Dubinsky was another guy up front who had a big role in the game," Richards said. "He had a goal and an assist, but the way that he played, he got a lot of minutes and a lot of tough minutes."

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