Blueshirts “Scrap & Claw” their way to victory (NYR 2 v. CBJ 1)

Rangers celebrate Chris Kreider's goal in Columbus (Getty)

Rangers celebrate Chris Kreider’s goal in Columbus (Getty)

The New York Rangers were struggling heading into Friday night’s tilt against the Blue Jackets. Marty St. Louis told the media after the loss to Boston not to “overthink it.” The seasoned veteran knew there was only one way out of this little slump and that’s to “bite, scratch and claw” their way out.

RANGERS 2 v. BLUE JACKETS 1

NYR at CBJ 1.17.15 (ESPN)

NYR at CBJ 1.17.15 (ESPN)

Well it appears his teammates listened. It did help that Derek Stepan returned to the lineup after a 1 game hiatus to heal an “upper body injury”. His passing skills were instrumental as he assisted on both goals.

Another small and key move was leaving Tanner Glass in the lineup against a very hard-nosed Columbus team. The Blue Jackets rank second in the league in Fighting Majors with 23, the Rangers only have 12 per Hockey Fights.

While leaving Glass in came at JT Miller’s expense the move proved wise. Jared Boll who had 8 fights coming in decided to tangle with Glass and helped spark the Rangers. Less than 2 minutes later the Rangers finally broke their miserable shutout streak when Marc Staal cashed in on some chaos around Sergei Bobrovsky’s crease.

The goal was huge and Lundqvist admitted as much after the game. “You could see when we scored that first goal we relaxed a little bit,” the King said smiling, “we started playing better.”

After Chris Kreider scored to make it 2-0, Kevin Klein leveled a CBJ player and had to respond to Jeremy Morin’s challenge. He did in grand fashion scoring another fisticuffs win. Klein and Glass fighting efforts weren’t lost on their teammates either. Captain Ryan McDonagh said, “what they did that means a lot to our team, it goes a long way.”

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1WBE76vmRM”]

[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZISnKP9bE-Q”]

From there, it was the Henrik Lundqvist show and he thwarted the CBJ attack time and time again. However, Scott Hartnell would cut the lead in half off a brilliant sequence in the third. Brobrovsky stoned Rick Nash in front and Ryan Johansen picked up the loose puck hitting Hartnell up ice. Hartnell made no mistake and blasted it past Lundqvist.

The Rangers would settle down and play that good defense that helped them win 13 of 14 recently and nailed down the win. Alain Vigneault appreciated the effort, “I liked the way we battled tonight. We weren’t crisp the whole night, but we found a way.”

So the Blueshirts heeded MSL’s advice, but substituted the “scratching” for “scrapping” to pick up a crucial 2 points.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore