NHL PREVIEWS |

New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets Preview and Predictions 02-14-2020


The Columbus Blue Jackets have skated to the league's second-best record since snapping a four-game losing streak on Dec. 9, but they will look to avoid their fourth straight setback Friday when they host the New York Rangers. The Blue Jackets dropped their second consecutive contest in overtime Thursday with a 4-3 decision against the Sabres - their league-leading ninth defeat this season in the extra frame.

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The Blue Jackets are holding onto one of two Eastern Conference wild-card spots but they'll be playing the next eight to 10 weeks without All-Star defenseman Seth Jones, who is sixth in the league with a team-best 25:17 of ice time per game, after the 25-year-old underwent ankle surgery earlier this week. Columbus is used to playing through injuries as starting goaltender Joonas Korpisalo (knee) missed his 19th straight game Thursday but rookie Elvis Merzlikins has been excellent when called upon with a 1.20 goals against average, .959 save percentage, and 8-1-1 record over his last 10 games. Mika Zibanejad played the hero for the Rangers Thursday as the center tied the game with 1:06 remaining in regulation and converted in the shootout to lead his squad to a 4-3 triumph over the Wild. Zibanejad has six goals along with seven assists in his last nine games and linemate Artemi Panarin leads the Rangers with 29 goals and 47 assists while sporting a plus-28 rating - the top mark among all NHL forwards.

TIME: 7 p.m. ET. TV: MSG, FS Ohio

ABOUT THE RANGERS (29-23-4): Making his first career start away from Madison Square Garden Tuesday, rookie goaltender Igor Shesterkin stopped 42 shots in a 4-1 win over the Jets as the 24-year-old is expected to get the call Friday after improving to 6-1-0 since his NHL debut on Jan. 7. Ryan Strome extended his point streak to three games with an assist Thursday and, with 48 points, the seven-year veteran sits two shy of tying his career-high set with the New York Islanders in 2014-15. Left wing Chris Kreider's name has been frequented in trade rumors recently and the pending unrestricted free agent has 27 points (16 goals, 11 assists) over his last 27 games.

ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (30-17-11): Merzlikins was 0-4-4 with a .881 save percentage when Korpisalo went down, but the 25-year-old Latvian is 12-3-1 since with five shutouts - three more than any other netminder during that time. The Blue Jackets have struggled on the power play as they are 2-for-23 over their last 11 games, but their penalty kill has allowed just one goal in its last 12 opportunities over the six contests. After not finding the back of the net in the first 14 games of the calendar year, forward Boone Jenner has goals in two of his last four after potting his 10th marker of the season against Buffalo.

OVERTIME

1. Blue Jackets RW Oliver Bjorkstrand scored with 27 seconds remaining in regulation to lead his team to a 2-1 victory over the Rangers on Jan. 19 - handing Shesterkin his only NHL setback.

2. In 377 games played, Panarian is four points shy of 400 for his career and is on pace to become the fourth-fastest active player to reach the milestone behind Sidney Crosby (292), Alexander Ovechkin (314) and Evgeni Malkin (319) - and just ahead of Steven Stamkos (382).

3. Blue Jackets C Pierre-Luc Dubois has a team-best 43 points, but recorded just one assist in his last five games.

Prediction

Free Daily Lock Pick: NBA: NY Knicks vs. Philadelphia - February 27th - (100% Confidence Release)

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Stadium

Nationwide Arena
Columbus, Ohio, USA.
Capacity: 18,144

Last Injuries

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Riley Nash

    Upper Body
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Nash was held out of the last game due to an upper-body injury, and it is undetermined if he will play Friday versus the Wild.

  • Oliver Bjorkstrand

    Lower Body
    Early May | out

    Bjorkstrand is expected to miss eight to 10 weeks due to a sprained and fractured ankle.

  • Josh Anderson

    Shoulder
    out for season | I-R

    Anderson has been sent to the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury and is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

  • Elvis Merzlikins

    Upper Body
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Merzlikins missed the previous game due to an upper-body injury, and his availability against the Wild on Friday is in question.

  • Markus Hannikainen

    Acquired
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Hannikainen was recently acquired by the organization in a trade, and it is unclear if he will make his team debut Saturday against the Sabres.

  • Sonny Milano

    Acquired
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Milano has an undetermined status heading into Tuesday's contest against the Oilers as he was recently acquired by the team in a trade.

  • Devin Shore

    Acquired
    Ques Tues | questionable

    Shore was traded for, and it is uncertain if he will line up Tuesday versus the Wild.

  • Joonas Korpisalo

    Knee
    Prob Mon | probable

    Korpisalo has been activated from the injured reserve list after healing from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee. He is likely to return Monday versus the Senators.

New York Rangers

  • Pavel Buchnevich

    Upper Body
    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Buchnevich missed the previous game due to an upper-body injury, and it is unclear if he will line up Thursday versus the Canadiens.

  • Igor Shesterkin

    Ribs
    Mid March | out

    Shesterkin sustained a non-displaced rib fracture in a car accident, and he will be sidelined for two to four weeks.

  • Vladislav Namestnikov

    Acquired
    Prob Wed | probable

    Namestnikov was traded for, but he is expected to line up Wednesday versus the Sabres.

  • Chris Kreider

    Illness
    Prob Tues | probable

    Kreider is ailing from an illness, but the symptoms will likely subside in time for Tuesday's matchup versus the Islanders.

  • Brady Skjei

    Acquired
    Prob Tues | probable

    Skeji was traded for, but it is likely that he will line up Tuesday versus the Stars.

  • Filip Chytil

    Upper Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Chytil exited the last game due to an upper-body injury, and it is undetermined if he will play Saturday against the Sharks.

  • Igor Shesterkin

    Ankle
    Prob Wed | probable

    Shesterkin has sat out the previous three games due to an ankle injury. It is expected that he will return to the crease Wednesday against the Blackhawks.

  • Tony DeAngelo

    Upper Body
    Prob Wed | probable

    DeAngelo has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, but it is anticipated that he will suit up against the Blackhawks on Wednesday.

new-york-rangers Stats 2019-2020

Offensive
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Player GP G GWG GO GP1 GP2 Gp3 GPP GSH PPP PSH SHI SHOT
Statistics
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Player GP GS FL FW H L W OL PM
Assits
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Player GP GS A APP ASH
Defense
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Player GP GS GA GAA GP1A GP2A GP3A GOA SA SOA SP1A SP2A SP3A BS
Shutouts
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Player GP GS SHU SHUA SHUS SHUL
Time on ice
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS
Player GP GS TOIESS TOIPPS TOIS TOISHS