Rangers win streak halted at 10 with 4-2 loss to Blue Jackets

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers’ 10-game winning streak came to an end Sunday in Columbus, when they lost 4-2 to the last-place Blue Jackets.

It was their first loss in February and first since the All-Star break. Had they been able to extend their streak to 11 games, the Rangers would have set a new franchise record for most consecutive wins. As it stands, they share the record with Blueshirts teams from 1939-40 and 1972-73.

New York seemed tired against the Blue Jackets, playing their fifth game in eight days, including a hard-fought 2-1 win against he Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. The Rangers had been 9-0-0 in the second half of back-to-back games but failed to defend the rush on multiple occasions and appeared slow on the back check in losing to the Blue Jackets.

Artemi Panarin and Adam Edstrom scored for the Rangers, while Adam Fox and Matt Rempe registered assists. Jonathan Quick stopped 37 of 41 shots on a busy evening, and faced a lot of high-danger scoring chances throughout the contest. This was New York’s fifth straight game giving up 40 or more shots on goal.

“Their goalie played really well,” Rangers center Vincent Trocheck explained. “We gave up too many odd-man rushes and left ‘Quickie’ out to dry.”

Related: Frank Vatrano near top of Rangers trade deadline wish list

Columbus Blue Jackets 4 vs New York Rangers 2

NHL: New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets
Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers got off to a fast and physical start to open up the first period. Setting the tone once again was Rempe, who dropped the gloves with Mathieu Olivier 2:12 into the game. Though Rempe was game, Olivier handled himself well against the 6-foot-8 Rangers forward.

Momentum seemed to be in full favor of New York until a holding call against Jacob Trouba sent Columbus to the power play. While the penalty-kill unit held strong, Columbus was able to find the back of the net just as the teams returned to even strength. Dimitri Voronkov beat Quick after receiving a cross-ice pass from Kirill Marchenko at 4:34.

After a flurry of saves from Quick, momentum seemed to fall back into the hands of the Rangers. Following a near miss on one attempt, Artemi Panarin was able to cash in on a sharp angle shot for his 33rd goal of the season at 14:22, establishing a new NHL career high for the Rangers leading scorer.

The start of the second frame was less than ideal for the Rangers. Just 18 seconds in, Marchenko was able to out-wait Quick, who had lost his stick earlier in the play, and find the back of the net. Now with a 2-1 lead, Columbus controlled play for over eight minutes and out-shot the Rangers 9-1 in that time frame.

New York earned a chance to even the score when they received their first power play at 8:34. While they failed to convert, they did generate several shots and some much-needed momentum.

Shortly after the man-advantage, the twin giants of Adam Edstrom and Rempe got the Rangers going once again. Edstrom carried the puck deep into the Blue Jackets zone and centered the puck, looking for Rempe. A fortuitous bounce off the skate of a Columbus defender gave Edstrom the second goal of his NHL career at 11:11. Rempe earned an assist on the play.

The good feeling didn’t last long as Just 46 seconds later, Jack Roslovic scored off the rush after receiving a pass from Johnny Gaudreau. Columbus now led for the third separate time in the contest, and would not look back.

“It was a big goal to tie it up and we were a little sloppy in the second,” Fox admitted.

The Rangers’ struggles defending the rush continued on as they surrendered yet another goal before the period ended. This time Ivan Provorov was able to beat Quick on the blocker side, extending the lead to 4-2 at 18:35. A sloppy period for the Rangers saw them head into the second intermission trailing 4-2.

With just over two minutes left to play in regulation, the Rangers found themselves on the power play and pulled Quick for a 6-on-4 advantage. Despite their best efforts, Elvis Merzlikins and the Blue Jackets stood tall. Merzlikins finished with 38 saves, 18 in the third period.

“It was just one or two (odd man rushes), there were just too many of them,” Rangers coach Peter Laviolette said. “Tonight wasn’t our best. We’ll learn from it..”

The Rangers are back in action against these same Blue Jackets on Wednesday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM ET at Madison Square Garden.

Dane Walsh is a life-long fan of the New York Rangers. Growing up in the tri-state area, Dane has... More about Dane Walsh

Mentioned in this article:

More About: