COLUMBUS, Ohio — Two tired teams were focused Friday night on not making mistakes, while the few miscues the Rangers did have were covered up by a very sharp Alexandar Georgiev.
The Blueshirts’ netminder, starting his second game in as many nights, was able to backstop his club to a 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets.
It gave the Rangers (30-23-4) their fourth win in a row — their longest streak of the season and the first time they have won four straight since Oct. 30-Nov. 6, 2018. They came into the night riding their first three-game winning streak since Thanksgiving, including the first two games of this road trip at Winnipeg and Minnesota. Georgiev also started in the comeback 4-3 shootout win against the Wild on Thursday.
Georgiev was terrific through the first 40 minutes, not allowing John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets (30-18-11), who played in Buffalo on Thursday night, to score until late in the second period, bringing a 1-1 tie into the third.
Another tight period ensued. Boone Jenner came down on a shorthanded breakaway with just over five minutes left in the regulation, but his shot hit the post and went out of play.
Chris Kreider right is mobbed by his teammates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the Rangers’ 3-1 win over the Blue Jackets tonight.NHLI via Getty Images
One second after that Rangers power play ended, Chris Kreider was able to bury a quick shot from in front to give his team a 2-1 lead with 3:11 to play in regulation.
Ryan Strome added an empty netter to make it 3-1 and seal the victory.
The Blueshirts might have been a little tired playing their third road game in four nights, but the game couldn’t have started better. A Jacob Trouba point shot was redirected by Pavel Buchnevich, sneaking under the glove of goalie Elvis Merzlikins just 22 seconds into the first period for a 1-0 lead. It was Buchnevich’s 13th goal of the season, and also his 10th point in the past 10 games, which included six goals.
Georgiev made that stand up for the next 39 minutes. But with 1:08 left in the second period, Oliver Bjorkstram batted a loose puck through a jungle of legs, up and over Georgiev’s shoulder to bring a 1-1 tie into the third.