COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Left for dead after a horrible start to the season, the New York Rangers are now very much alive.
Carl Hagelin scored two goals and captain Ryan Callahan and Ryan McDonagh each had a goal and an assist, leading the Rangers to a 4-2 win over struggling Columbus before 11,746 on Thursday night in Nationwide Arena.
Less than 24 hours after routing Pittsburgh at home, the Rangers won their third straight road game and the fifth of six overall. Rookie goaltender Cam Talbot had 31 saves.
The Blue Jackets got goals from defensemen Fedor Tyutin and Ryan Murray while losing their fifth straight game.
Sergei Bobrovsky, back in the net after a two-game break, had 30 saves for Columbus.
The Rangers and Blue Jackets made two huge trades since they last met on Feb. 9, 2012, so this game was a reunion of sorts in both direction.
It was a triumphant return to Nationwide Arena for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore, who were sent from Columbus to New York in a trade last March that brought Marian Gaborik to the Blue Jackets.
It was only more frustration for Brandon Dubinsky and Artem Anisimov, who were traded from New York to Columbus in the deal that sent Rick Nash to the Rangers.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead only 4:16 into the game when Carl Hagelin found space in the middle of the ice off the rush and simply tapped home a centering feed from Callahan.
The Blue Jackets tied it 1-1 later in the period when Tyutin -- a former Rangers defenseman -- carried the puck into the slot and beat Talbot.
The Rangers scored twice during a 21-shot second period to push the lead to 3-1, thanks in part to the Blue Jackets.
At 12:44 of the second, Jackets center Mark Letestu inexplicably flipped the puck off his backhand in the direction of Bobrovsky, and the puck found a gap between Bobrovsky and the near post. The puck trickled over the line to make it 3-1 Rangers as Letestu buried his head between his knees in frustration. The goal was credited to Hagelin, the last Ranger to touch it.
Before the groans subsided, though, the Jackets made it 3-2, scoring only 48 seconds after the own goal. Murray, a precocious rookie, fired the puck through a crowd, such that Talbot didn't see it.
The Blue Jackets could get no closer, however.
McDonagh fired home an empty-net goal in the final seconds to cap the scoring.
NOTES: Thursday's game was supposed to mark the return of Nash to Nationwide Arena, but the former Blue Jackets captain has been sidelined for more than a month by a severe concussion. His return is still weeks away, according to the New York Post. Nash spent 10 years with the Blue Jackets -- the final 4 1/2 as captain -- and owns all of the team's meaningful offensive records. ... Blue Jackets LW Nick Foligno was back in the lineup after stepping away from the club for two days to deal with a family illness.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- New York Rangers
- Carl Hagelin