New York Rangers head to Columbus looking to build on good start
Following an impressive opening night 5-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, the New York Rangers look to begin a streak Saturday when they face the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Blueshirts played sound two-way hockey for all three periods of their season opener, seeking to aim for a repeat performance against the Blue Jackets.
As per the Rangers, should New York win its first two road games of the season, it would be the first time since the 2015-16 season and 10th time in franchise history. In addition, should the Rangers win tonight, this will be the third time in franchise history the club starts consecutive seasons 2-0-0, the previous instances occurring in 1960-61 and 1961-62, and in 1926-27 and 1927-28.
Here’s tonight’s game and broadcast info:
New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets
Date/Time: October 14, 2023 at 7:00 PM ET
Arena: Nationwide Arena
Radio: 98.7 FM ESPN
Note: Subject to change, updated for each game
New York Rangers Projected lineup
The lineup tonight should look very similar to that of Thursday night:
Kreider – Zibanejad – Kakko
Panarin – Chytil – Lafreniere
Cuylle – Trocheck – Wheeler
Goodrow – Bonino – Pitlick
Lindgren – Fox
Miller – Trouba
Gustafsson – Schneider
Jimmy Vesey may be given the nod in tonight’s game, and Tyler Pitlick may be the forward scratch. It’s projected Igor Shesterkin will be back in net, with Jonathan Quick waiting at least another game to be starting goalie in regular season action.
The Rangers will hold a morning skate at 11:30 a.m. ET, which should better indicate the final lineup.
New York Rangers vs Columbus Blue Jackets
Alexis Lafreniere opened the scoring early Thursday, off a pass from Artemi Panarin for a tap-in goal that Buffalo net minder Devon Levi never saw coming.
What ensued was a dominating performance in which Panarin also scored, along with Chris Kreider both on the power play and subsequently with a shorthanded goal, and that Jacob Trouba finished off with an empty net goal to seal the win.
The Sabres managed to score their lone goal on a fortuitous bounce in the second period after a Jacob Trouba blocked shot went on JJ Peterka’s stick to beat Shesterkin.
“I thought we were really sharp in the first period — ready to skate, ready to compete — and it stayed that way through the whole game,” head coach Peter Laviolette said after the win in Buffalo.
Laviolette went on to say that “the specialty teams have been putting in a lot of time, and (we) saw some really good results tonight. The power play moved the puck really good, I thought, and the penalty kill was absolutely courageous. The way they defended and the way they blocked shots tonight was something else.”
New York will be playing a Columbus team that lost its opener at home by a score of 4-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday, under new head coach Pascal Vincent. The Blue Jackets finished with 59 points last season, fewest in the Eastern Conference.