1) The New York Rangers surrendered an early goal in the first period but were able to battle back and defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on Monday. On the night Harvard Hockey won the Beanpot tournament in Boston, one if it’s legacies, Jimmy Vesey, tallied the game-winning goal to propel the Blueshirts.
2) Antti Raanta made his first start since leaving against Montreal on January 14th with a lower-body injury was superb between the pipes. Former Ranger Brandon Dubinsky scored early in the opening period but after that, Raanta was stellar. In the final minutes, with the Rangers leading by one, Columbus had several opportunities to tie the game but Raanta denied the Blue Jackets over and over again.
3) “It’s been a long time when I played last time, I just wanted to get that good feeling going again,” Raanta said on MSG Network after making 30 saves and picking up his 11th victory of the season. “It was a really good win for us.”
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) February 14, 2017
4) As each day of the 2016-17 NHL season goes by, it becomes even clearer that the Metropolitan Division is the best in the NHL. The Blueshirts are tied with Pittsburgh and Columbus with 75 points, occupying the second, third and fourth position in the division. With that amount of points, each one of those teams would lead the Atlantic and Pacific division.
5) The best way to collect points throughout a season is to limit losing streaks and be comfortable winning on the road. After Monday’s victory, the Rangers picked up their NHL leading 19th road win, and extended their current win streak to six games.
6) Dan Girardi returned to the lineup after missing the previous two games. Early in the second period, the alternate captain tallied a shorthanded goal to tie the game 1-1 and set the tone for the rest of the contest. Coincidentally enough, Girardi ranks second among Rangers defensemen in goals this season with four.
7) “I think we just have to keep building here,” Girardi said on MSG Network. “We are doing a lot of good things each game.”
8) Entering the game, Alain Vigneault decided to switch Pavel Buchnevich and Jimmy Vesey in the lineup. However, early on, AV recognized that Vesey was on top of his game and it was a decision that paid off. Vesey, made a great move on Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard and caught Sergei Bobrocsky cheating as he tallied the game-winning goal.
9) “I thought early on Jimmy was skating well, skating bettar than Buchy (Buchnevich),” Vigneault explained. “So I just made the swtich early and it worked out for us.”
10) Kevin Hayes scored an impressive goal in the final period to give New York a 2-1 lead. He correctly predicted the play and was able to jump all over the Columbus D-men to create a turnover. Then, on the breakaway, he made a pretty move to his forehand as he beat Bobrovsky.
11) The Rangers have posted a 26-2-0 record in games which Hayes has recorded a point this season, including a 13-0-0 record in games which he has tallied a goal in 2016-17.
12) The Rangers penalty kill was a huge difference-maker in the game, killing off all four penalties they took. Statistically, they killed off all four but Dubinsky’s opening goal was scored just as the first penalty expired.
13) The Rangers will enjoy an off-day on Tuesday before beginning preparation for Thursday’s matchup with their cross-town rival, the New York Islanders.