COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Sergei Bobrovsky made his typical batch of highlight-reel saves to help the Columbus Blue Jackets shut out the potent New York Rangers.
Bobrovsky made 36 saves for his 21st career shutout and Zach Werenski and Artemi Panarin scored in the Blue Jackets’ 2-0 victory over New York on Friday night.
New York ran into a hot goalie in Bobrovsky, the reigning Vezina Trophy winner who notched his second shutout of the season in powering Columbus to its third straight victory.
“Forget about his athletic ability, I just think he has a mental toughness about him,” Columbus coach John Tortorella said. “And I’ve seen it develop in the last three years I’ve been here, so he continues to grow as a goalie.”
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist was nearly as good against the increasingly aggressive Blue Jackets, stopping 40 shots on the night. The Rangers (11-8-1) lost their second straight following a six-game win streak.
“They played a pretty fast game, they had a lot of odd-man rushes, especially in the second, but it was still just a one-goal game until there were 10 minutes left,” Lundqvist said. “We were right there, but it was not enough. I feel like they were just the better team tonight.”
The first period was scoreless, with both goalies making some slick, sprawling saves and managing heavy traffic in front of the nets.
Werenski found the back of the net with his sixth goal of the season 13:34 into the second. Brandon Dubinsky lost the handle of the puck in the slot, and Werenski picked it up just inside the right circle and beat Lundqvist with a one-timer.
Columbus (12-7-1) was the aggressor in the second frame, outshooting the Rangers 19-9, and kept up the pressure in the third.
“Our second was probably one of our best periods we’ve played this year,” Tortorella said.
Panarin scored his fourth goal of the season on a power play 7:14 into the third period, rocketing a slap shot from the high slot that ricocheted off the bar and in.
“You see what we can do when we’re forechecking, when we’re reloading, we’re generating opportunities and making it tough,” said Dubinsky, who got an assist on Werenski’s goal. “And I thought we did a pretty good job of it tonight.”
The Blue Jackets are 9-1-0 this season when allowing two goals or fewer.
“I think early on we would have liked to have capitalized on a few, give us some momentum, give us some confidence,” Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh said. “But in the end when a goalie is playing well like that, we try to emphasize making it hard on him, putting bodies in front of him, but at the same time we have to create shooting lanes. They did a good job blocking shots.”
NOTES: Panarin’s goal was his seventh in seven career games against the Rangers. …Columbus signed F Cam Atkinson to a seven-year, $41.1 million contract extension. … Columbus F Zac Dalpe was activated from injured reserve and sent to Cleveland of the American Hockey League….Columbus got its first win in regulation since Nov. 2. … New York F Jimmy Vesey marked his 100th NHL game….Rangers D Brendan Smith was in the lineup for the Rangers after being scratched the past six games. He replaced Steven Kampfer, who was scratched Friday along with C Paul Carey. … D Scott Harrington and D David Savard were scratches for Columbus. Blue Jackets F Alexander Wennberg missed a second game with an undisclosed injury.
New York: Hosts Ottawa on Sunday.
Columbus: Plays at Buffalo on Monday night.
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