Joonas Korpisalo was less than 2 minutes away from securing a shutout against the Washington Capitals. That was until Kuznetsov struck on a feed from John Carlson to rifle a slapper past Korpisalo. Holding the Caps to a goal is impressive enough, but coming that close to holding them to none has to sting. Nevertheless, Backstrom took a 2 minute minor for slashing in overtime to perverse 2 points for the Blue Jackets.
The Jackets don’t get much time to celebrate, as they welcome the New York Rangers on Sunday. The Rangers don’t get any time to celebrate either, after they won a close 2-1 decision against their intercity rivals on Saturday afternoon. It was a rare nice showing for the Rangers on the road, as they’ve struggled mightily when they play outside of Madison Square Garden.
Henrik Lundqvist got the day off yesterday to prepare for the Blue Jackets on Sunday. It clearly wasn’t a bad idea, as Alexander Georgiev played a standout game between the pipes with 24 saves. It was likely better than anything Lundqvist would have done in net.
I think the Rangers would be ecstatic to be able to trade Henrik, but he has been in no rush to waive his no-trade clause. If he wanted a trade, management would likely grand it immediately for the trade deadline. Finding a team who wants his contract would still be difficult, though.
The Rangers are looking towards the future and now the now. Lundqvist is clearly not the future in NYC. After all he’s done for the franchise, it’d be fitting if he goes out as a Ranger, though. He’s been hit and miss this season, with MSG being his sanctuary and the road an eyesore. We’ll see what Lundqvist comes up with in Columbus on Sunday. Get our free Rangers vs. Blue Jackets pick below.
N.Y. Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Pick
The Rangers got the win yesterday to advance to 18-19-7 on the season. They have a goal to goals against differential of -29, so they should feel awfully fortunate that that they’re only one game away from pulling within .500. As a comparison, the Red Wings are 16-23-7 and are just one goal off from the Rangers.
As noted earlier, it was a rare win for the Rangers on the road yesterday. The win puts them at 7-13-2 on the road as opposed to 11-6-3 at home in Madison Square Garden. Most of their issues on the road have come as a result of shoddy work on the road. Prior to the solid effort yesterday, the Rangers had allowed 3.7 goals per game in their previous ten outings.
Part of the blame is with Lundqvist, who hasn’t done his part. The Rangers have allowed a whopping amount of goals on the road, with several defensive breakdowns in their own zone. They’ve given up an average of 4.05 goals per game, while Lundqvist has struggled with an ugly 3.56 GAA and 0.90 save percentage.
The Blue Jackets struggled offensively against the Caps, but I expect them to get back on their horse on Sunday. After putting a lot of energy into slowing down the Islanders, they likely revert back to their regular selves in Columbus. Bobrovsky will likely be in net on Sunday.
They opted to give Korpisalo the nod in Washington, which paid off just like the Rangers who went to their backup. The Blue Jackets have allowed just over 3 goals per game at home, though are scoring 3.32 goals per game in their home barn. After both teams recording 2-1 wins a day ago, the offences should play a bigger role on Sunday.