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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

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Stadium

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

Last Injuries

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Cam Atkinson

    Ankle
    Early March | I-R

    Atkinson has been added to the injured reserve list due to a sprained ankle. He is not expected to return for two to three weeks.

  • Seth Jones

    Ankle
    Late April | I-R

    Jones has been placed on the injured reserve list due to ankle surgery. He is projected to miss eight to 10 weeks of action.

  • Joonas Korpisalo

    Knee
    Late Feb | out

    Korpisalo is recovering from surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to be out until at least the end of February.

  • Josh Anderson

    Shoulder
    Late Feb | I-R

    Anderson has been sent to the injured reserve list with a shoulder injury and is expected to be idle until at least the latter part of February.

  • David Savard

    Personal
    Out Thurs | out

    Savard is away from the team due to the birth of his child and will not play Thursday against the Sabres.

  • Alexander Wennberg

    Upper Body
    Early March | I-R

    Wennberg is projected to miss three to four weeks while on the injured reserve list due to an upper-body injury.

  • Eric Robinson

    Lower Body
    Doub Fri | doubtful

    Robinson is dealing with a lower-body ailment, and it is unlikely that he will be available against the Red Wings on Friday.

New York Rangers

  • Igor Shesterkin

    Ankle
    Ques Wed | questionable

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

  • Tony DeAngelo

    Upper Body
    Ques Wed | questionable

    DeAngelo has missed the past two games with an upper-body injury, and it is up in the air if he will suit up against the Blackhawks on Wednesday.

  • Marc Staal

    Illness
    Ques Fri | questionable

    Staal missed the last game with an illness, and it is unknown if he will be in Friday's lineup versus the Blue Jackets.

  • Micheal Haley

    Abdominal
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Haley will be on the injured reserve list for an extended period after having surgery to repair a bilateral core muscle injury.

  • Igor Shesterkin

    Concussion
    day-to-day | questionable

    Shesterkin left Tuesday's game to be evaluated for a concussion, and it is unknown if he will return.

  • Vladislav Namestnikov

    Lower Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Namestnikov was held out of the last game with a lower-body injury and is also suffering from a facial contusion. It is undetermined if he will line up Saturday against the Jets.

  • Mika Zibanejad

    Flu
    Prob Wed | probable

    Zibanejad is likely to play Wednesday against the Maple Leafs despite a flu bug.

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