New York Rangers vs. Columbus Blue Jackets - 1/6/14
Columbus Blue Jackets (18-20-4) at New York Rangers (21-20-2)
NHL Hockey: Monday, January 6, 2014 at 7:00 pm (Madison Square Garden)
The Line: New York Rangers -168 / Columbus Blue Jackets +153 --- Over/Under: 5 See the Latest Odds
The New York Rangers enter Monday night's contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets coming off their best performance of the season. For the entire season the biggest problem for New York has been following up a solid performance with another one, and it will be hard to duplicate their game on Saturday. New York came out flying against the Toronto Maple Leafs, scoring twice in the opening period and firing 18 shots on goal. It took them a while to build on that lead but in the second period it was Benoit Pouliot continue his hot play and Chris Kreider scoring on a beautiful back hander before Dominic Moore chipped in his first game of the night to put things out of reach. Brad Richards and Brian Boyle added goals in the third period as the Rangers cruised to a 7-1 victory over Toronto. The key for New York was that they possessed the puck the entire night, used their speed to create chances, and were able to break out of their own zone all night long. The Rangers finished the night with a 50-26 shot advantage and they didn't let their foot off the gas even after taking a 5-1 lead into the third period. Monday night the Rangers will look to follow up that performance aginst a Blue Jackets club that has lost three of their last four games and were whitewashed by the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night. Artem Anisimov scored his 12th goal of the season in the opening period and Mark Letestu made it 2-0 but the Blue Jackets crumbled, allowing three goals in the second and three in the third in the 6-2 loss. This was the type of game that shows that Columbus still has a lot of growing to do and they have a lot of things to work on. Curtis McElhinney is doing everything he can to keep this team in contention but unless the Blue Jackets get Sergei Bobrovsky back and find a strong presence in net they aren't going to have a chance the rest of the way. Anisimov is having a good year and this club has a lot of good young players but they need to be better in their own zone. Columbus won the last meeting at Madison Square Garden but the Rangers have a building block now with that win at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. If New York can keep control of the puck they have enough to take this one on Monday.
Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports