Preview: NY Rangers at Columbus
When: 7:00 PM ET, Friday, October 9, 2015
Where: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
Two days after spoiling the defending Stanley Cup champion’s season opener, the New York Rangers attempt to repeat the feat when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday. New York scored three times in the first period at Chicago on Wednesday and held on for a 3-2 triumph over the Blackhawks.
Derek Stepan, who scored the winning goal at the United Center, looks to continue to torment Columbus after registering seven points (two tallies) in three meetings last season. The Blue Jackets hope to pick up where they left off in 2014-15. Despite missing the playoffs, Columbus made life difficult for opponents down the stretch last season by going 12-0-1 over its last 13 contests. The Blue Jackets added another weapon to an offense that already included Nick Foligno and Ryan Johansen by acquiring Brandon Saad, who posted career highs of 23 goals and 52 points with Chicago last season.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG (New York), FSN Ohio (Columbus)
ABOUT THE RANGERS (1-0-0): After failing to convert two shots in his only previous NHL game last season, Oscar Lindberg buried his first attempt of 2015-16 just 1:43 into Wednesday’s season opener for his first career goal. The 23-year-old Swede, who was named the best rookie in New York’s training camp, was acquired from the then-Phoenix Coyotes in May 2011 after being selected in the second round of the previous year’s draft. Viktor Stalberg notched an assist against his former team in his Rangers debut Wednesday while Jarret Stoll lost five of his six faceoffs in his first game with New York.
ABOUT THE BLUE JACKETS (2014-15: 42-35-5, 5TH IN METROPOLITAN): Foligno, the team’s new captain, looks to build on a tremendous season in which he set career highs with 31 goals and a club-leading 73 points. Johansen, the MVP of the 2015 All-Star Game, fell seven tallies shy of his personal-best 33 from 2013-14 but finished right behind Foligno with a career-high 71 points. Other than Saad, Columbus’ only significant offseason addition was veteran Gregory Campbell, a solid defensive center and penalty-killer who spent the previous five seasons with Boston.
1. Alain Vigneault is seeking his 100th victory as coach of the Rangers.
2. Of the 23 players on Columbus’ roster, 11 are 25 years old or younger.
3. New York won three of its four meetings with the Blue Jackets last season, including one in overtime and another in a shootout.
PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Blue Jackets 3