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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, October 11th (All times eastern)

New York Rangers (0-1-0-0) at Columbus Blue Jackets (0-1-0-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers conclude a brief season-opening road trip tonight when they visit the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

New York's quest to end a six-year playoff drought began Friday with a disheartening 5-3 loss to Western Conference finalist Minnesota. The Rangers held a 3-1 lead in the second period, but the Wild rallied with four unanswered tallies to close out the match.

Jan Hlavac, Tom Poti and Matthew Barnaby each scored in defeat, while Mike Dunham finished with 14 saves. New York outshot Minnesota 28-19 -- including 10-1 in the final period -- but could not cash in on eight power- play chances.

The Rangers, who have not qualified for the postseason since 1997, will head home after tonight. They'll hold their Madison Square Garden opener Thursday versus Atlanta and will play six straight in the Big Apple.

Columbus, meanwhile, opened in an emotional setting Thursday night in Atlanta, as the host Thrashers began their campaign in the wake of teammate Dan Snyder's passing. Chris Tamer scored with 2:24 remaining in the third period to snap a tie and lift Atlanta to a 2-1 win at Philips Arena.

Andrej Nedorost scored his first career NHL goal for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 1-2-1 in four season openers. Columbus goaltender Marc Denis finished with 25 saves and the Jackets went 0-for-6 on the power play.

The Blue Jackets hope the comforts of home will lift them tonight, as they went 20-14-5-2 at Nationwide Arena last season. Columbus will play the second portion of a three-game set Monday versus Vancouver.

New York and Columbus split two games last season, with each team winning in its own rink. The Rangers have lost two straight in Ohio.

10/11 10:51:45 ET

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