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NHL Game Summary - Columbus at NY Rangers

(Saturday, February 24th)

Final Score: Columbus 3, NY Rangers 2

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Rick Nash scored the go-ahead goal in the second period, and the Columbus Blue Jackets erased a two-goal deficit with a pair of short-handed tallies, defeating the New York Rangers, 3-2, at Madison Square Garden.

Anders Eriksson and Jason Chimera both tallied for the Blue Jackets, who won for just the third time in their last 11 games while snapping a three-game slide. Fredrik Norrena was strong between the pipes, finishing with 40 saves for Columbus.

"In the first 10 minutes in the first period, it was the fastest I've ever been a part of in the NHL so far," said Chimera. "They came out pretty hard and it seemed once we got those two short-handed goals it kind of deflated them a bit. Anytime you get two short-handed goals its always a big help."

Blair Betts and Jaromir Jagr both scored and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 22 saves for the Rangers, who were playing their second game in a season-high six-game homestand. The Blueshirts have struggled in their quest for a postseason berth, dropping a pair of heartbreaking losses to the New Jersey Devils in a home-and-home series this past week, and four of their last five games overall.

The Rangers grabbed the early lead, punching through with their fourth shot on goal to make it 1-0. On a delayed penalty call, Betts took a pass from Ryan Hollweg and moved behind the net from Norrena's right to left, before stuffing the puck past the netminder on a wrap-around attempt at 2:46.

A little more than two minutes later New York struck again to make it 2-0, this time on the power play. With Columbus' Aaron Johnson off for interference, Jagr rifled a slap shot from the top of the right circle past Norrena at 5:11 for his 22nd goal of the season.

Eriksson got Columbus on the board, deflecting the puck past Lundqvist to make it a 2-1 game. David Vyborny had almost nothing on the initial shot, which he wristed from above the right circle. The disc went through heavy traffic, however, deflecting off two players, the last being Eriksson, before it skipped past the netminder with 1:24 remaining in the first period.

A pair of short-handed tallies gave Columbus a 3-2 lead in the second period.

After a takeaway by Fredrik Modin, Chimera gathered the puck in his own zone, then went through neutral zone unimpeded while moving along the left boards. Just a few strides over the blue line, Chimera unleashed a wrist shot that beat Lundqvist at 11:02 to square the game at 2-2.

Nash then gave his team a 3-2 lead while Eriksson was off for hooking. The shot, which was nearly identical to Chimera's, came off the left side and beat Lundqvist with 4:06 remaining in the middle stanza.

"Chimera's goal was the one that really gave everybody a lift," said Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock. "You are down 2-1 and you get scoring chances and you're battling. That goal was terrific and that lifted the bench. You know we did a great job killing penalties today. After the first power play we did a great job killing them. It's a good feeling for us. It means we know the race that the Rangers are in and for us to come out of here with two points is a good feeling."

The third period belonged to New York, except where the scoreboard was concerned. The Blueshirts dominated in shots on goal, 17-4, but could not solve Norrena down the stretch.

A hooking infraction against Michal Rozsival, which came with just 42 seconds remaining in the contest, let the Rangers short-handed and dampened any hopes of a game-tying tally.

"We just stopped playing after the first period," said a despondent Jagr after the game. "After ten minutes we started kind of playing a busy game. We were thinking too much foward after this game. It was too late. Everybody talked about having home ice and when you play against a club with a bad record, it should be easier then. It just didn't happen. In the first ten minutes it looked like it would be an easy game."

Game Notes

It was Chimera's second unassisted short-handed goal of the season. The first one came December 18th against Detroit...The Blue Jackets have won five of their last six meetings with the Rangers overall, and are 1-1 with one tie all-time at Madison Square Garden, where they had not played since a 5-3 loss December 3, 2002...New York was 1-for-5 on the power play, while Columbus finished 0-for-2...The Rangers needed a win to move within four points of the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference...The last time New York surrendered two short-handed goals in one period was March 23, 2000 against the Washington Capitals.

02/24 23:53:02 ET

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