Rick Nash Gets Fired Up, As Rangers Down Jackets
(Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
It was a spirited affair at the Nationwide Arena tonight in Columbus, Ohio when the New York Rangers met the Columbus Blue Jackets in a huge Metropolitan Division match-up.
It was 3, 3rd period goals that lifted the Rangers over one over their newer rivals.
Talk about a feisty game, boy did this one live up to the hype. It was Rick Nash’s first game in Columbus since being traded over to the New York Rangers 2 off-seasons ago. He received a crowd of mixed emotions, they cheered him when he came out for warm-ups, “boo’ed” him when he had the puck, and cheered him when the Blue Jackets Organization paid him tribute midway through the first period.
Ultimately, Nash was the catalyst in this game. He was engaged every shift and you just had a feeling he was going to break through, well he did… But it was called off by the referee (something Rangers fans are getting accustomed to hearing). A breakout pass sprung him for a short breakaway from the blue-line in where he tried a little shimmy on Columbus goalie Sergei Bobrovsky but made “incidental contact” while getting checked from behind. The puck crossed the goal-line but the goal was waved off. Then, BOOM. Havoc ensues after the whistle, when Bobrovsky shot Nash’s stick away from him as he went to pick it up. Nash then shoved Bobrovsky & we all know what happens when you touch an opposing teams goaltender. Nash wound up sitting for 2 minutes. All I could hear in my head was Team Iceland defenseman Olaf Sanderson say “2 minutes, well worth it”.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) March 22, 2014
The Rangers entered the night with 5 former Blue Jackets, Nash, Brassard, Stralman, Dorsett & John Moore. All of whom were effective, accept John Moore who only had 6:04 of ice time and didn’t come out to play the 3rd period. He took a hard hit from Blake Comeau in the first period and looked a little shaky after that. If he’s not good to go tomorrow night in New Jersey expect Raphael Diaz to be inserted into the lineup for the first time as a New York Ranger player.
Although the 2nd period ended like the game started, 0-0, the emotions were high and the game was thoroughly entertaining. It didn’t take long into the third for us to realize that things weren’t going to smooth over when after just a few seconds Rick Nash had his gloves dropped and was engaged in a fight. Yes, you read that correctly Rick Nash got in a fight. He held his own too. A minute after the Nash fighting major, the Rangers ran into a little bad luck when a simple pass from Beniot Pouliot broke his stick. The puck didn’t get very far and Nick Foligno wristed one over Lunqvist’s shoulder to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead. Then 44 seconds later Derek Stepan knotted the game back up at 1 off a nice feed from Ryan McDonagh.
I said it was a homecoming for a reason, Rick Nash may have been the catalyst, but the ex-Blue Jacket Derrick Brassard winds up with the game winner for the Rangers against his former team. Carl Hagelin added an empty netter to seal the deal and the Rangers jumped back into 3rd place in the Metropolitan division, 1 point behind idle Philadelphia. They’ll want to look for their 3rd straight win against another division foe who’s trying to get back into the playoff hunt, the New Jersey Devils. So if you thought this game was spirited, wait until tomorrow night!
[su_youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n60uyKbeG9I”]Game Seven Highlights – [/su_youtube]