If there was any moment the New York Rangers could up the ante to make a comeback after trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1, it was in the final 20 minutes of Monday night’s game. In order to take a negative from the second period and turn the third into a positive, they had to control the final 20 minutes.
What happened in the second? Chris Kreider and Fedor Tyutin.
Tyutin, whose back was to Kreider, was pushed into the boards from behind. The Blue Jackets defenseman’s face hit the glass awkwardly, and he went down on the ice. Kreider was called for boarding at 0:21 into the second period. He received a 5-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. He did not return to the game.
Tyutin was able to skate off the ice on his own. He went out for another shift after the hit by Kreider, but it was only a short one. He left the game and did not return. Coach Todd Richards said that the injury sustained by the blueliner was more likely a charley horse.
“He’s just trying to go hard there, take the body,” Rangers captain Ryan Callahan said of Kreider’s hit on Tyutin. “You can’t look at one thing setting us back. We had a couple of mistakes in that period. They capitalized.
“It’s happened a lot quicker in the ref’s eyes, I think. Slow[ing] it down [to] look at it in a replay…explanation was that he hit him from behind. [Tyutin] was hurt there. It looked like he was pretty hurt. That’s the call he makes and you’ve got to live with it. There’s not much else you can say about it.”
With only their lone goal from Rick Nash on the power play from the first stanza, the Rangers entered into the third with a mission to turn the game in their favor. Brian Boyle scored followed by Nash to even things out and tie up the game. With an unproductive overtime, both teams headed to the shootout.
With only Columbus’ Mark Letestu and Ryan Johansen both scoring in the shootout and the Rangers not having a goal to show for, the Blue Jackets were able to collect the extra point to win the game, 4-3.
As for Nash and Blue Jackets center Brandon Dubinsky, they both got to seek a little revenge on their former clubs. Dubinsky scored first at 17:07 in the first period. This was his first goal against the Rangers since being traded to the Blue Jackets for Nash back on July 23, 2012.
Nash, on the other hand, was stellar on the power play unit, scoring at 19:07 in the first period and again at 6:55 in the third stanza to tie the game and send the contest to sudden death. These two goals were the first of the season against his former club.
“I think it will always be a little different,” Nash said of playing against his former club. “I spent 10 years there, so no matter what, I think it will be a bit different.
CBJ: Dubinsky (Horton/Wisniewski) (1st at 17:07)
NYR: Nash (Del Zotto/Kreider) (1st at 19:07) (PPG)
CBJ: Atkinson (unassisted) (2nd at 1:01)
CBJ: Wisniewski (Dubinsky/Foligno) (2nd at 16:47)
NYR: Boyle (D. Moore/J. Moore) (3rd at 4:53)
NYR: Nash (Richards/Callahan) (3rd at 6:55) (PPG)
NYR: Zuccarello (No), Nash (No)
CBJ: Letestu (Yes), Johansen (Yes)
Note: Kreider is leading the pack of current NHL rookies in the Calder race. San Jose Sharks forward Tomas Hertl was leading the pack before a knee-on-knee collision on Dec. 19 put him out of the lineup and most likely for the remainder of the season.