Game 73 Recap: Jackets and Rangers play chaotic first period, New York dominates the rest of the way to beat Columbus 6-2

Mar 29, 2023 - 1:49 AM
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Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Blue Shirts and Blue Jackets met for the third time this season. Or, more accurately, their offenses met for the third time this season. It was a goal scorer’s dream tonight in MSG; here’s what happened.

First Period

Somehow, Columbus actually managed to completely control the first five minutes of the game, getting four amazing opportunities on Igor Shesterkin, who made three amazing stops and a net front clearing to keep it scoreless. For about ninety more seconds, that is. Columbus was completely inept defensively for most of the game, and for a three minute stretch as the game approached the 10-minute mark, the Rangers capitalized.

RANGERS GOAL - Filip Chytil from Lafreniere and Miller - 5:23 1st Period
RANGERS GOAL - Vladimir Tarasenko from Schneider and Harpur - 6:50 1st Period
RANGERS GOAL - Patrick Kane from Trochek and Kreider - 8:00 1st Period

As the period waned on, New York continued to dominate, though that was briefly interrupted by the suddenly-pretty-decent CBJ powerplay, as Kirill Marchenko tied Pierre-Luc Dubois for the franchise record for rookie goals.

BLUE JACKETS POWERPLAY GOAL - Kirill Marchenko from Roslovic and Gaudreau - 11:45 1st Period

After the Marchenko goal, the Rangers picked up where they left off, buzzing around the Columbus zone and getting chances by the bucketload. This culminated with their powerplay chance, cause by an Adam Boqvist hook, just rattled off opportunities for two consecutive minutes. However, a combination of Michael Hutchison and dumb luck kept the score at 3-1, and play began to level off.

Now, normally when I use the phrase “level off” in these recaps, what I really mean is that nothing of interest happened for a bit. That is not what happened in this period. There was 29 combined shots on goal in the first, plus six shots off the post and like eight or nine scoring chances for each team. This continued through intermission, with Johnny Gaudreau pulling out the reverse uno card and scoring for the CBJ with 0:29 to go.

BLUE JACKETS GOAL - Johnny Gaudreau from Jenner and Christiansen - 19:31 1st Period

Second Period

After a quick chance for each team followed by a brief lull, the Blue Jackets got a power play after Vincent Trochek tripped Gaudreau. It was a decent powerplay, but nothing came of it.

And then, for the next ten minutes, the Blue Jackets had their asses handed to them. They couldn’t escape the zone, players continually got stranded, and it finally looked like last season’s Eastern Conference finalists were playing this year’s worst team. Michael Hutchinson had to make several game-saving stops to keep Columbus in spitting distance. This was eventually rewarded with a Rangers power play, and despite looking like they were on a power play for the last half period, the extra man finally allowed them to get one in.

RANGERS POWERPLAY GOAL - Artemi Panarin from Fox and Zibanejad - 17:36 2nd Period

Now down two, the Jackets finally had a decent shift, with the top line and Boqvist-Christiansen pair controlling the puck in the offensive zone for a decent bit. With 0:50 left in the frame, New York’s scrambling to clear the zone ultimately resulted in a Columbus power play. To play out the string, Larsen went with McKnown-Pederson-Johnson-Gaudreau-Boqvist, because sure.

Third Period

To be blunt, there really wasn’t much to write home about in the third period. After one and a half ineffective power plays, the Rangers simply controlled play for 90% of the remaining 15 minutes of the game. The Jackets got a couple chances, most notably a half-breakaway for Jack Roslovic that was emphatically gloved by Shesterkin, and a 1-on-1 showdown between Boqvist and Shesterkin that was eneded by the latter definitiely-not-intentionally-for-sure kicking the goal off its anchors. Mika Zibanejad put in an insurance goal with five minutes to go, Brad Larsen pulls Hutchinson down three with 4:26 to go because why not, and Vincent Trochek got the empty netter. That’s all she wrote.

RANGERS GOAL - Mika Zibanejad from Panarin - 14:27 3rd Period
RANGERS EMPTY NET GOAL - Vincent Trochek from Lafreniere - 16:21 3rd Period

Part of what’s making writing recaps so difficult in these last couple months is how similar all the games go. The Blue Jackets get dominated the first two periods, and then either continue to be dominated in the third or make some stupid comeback to win a game they absolutely should not. That, or they somehow create a multigoal lead in the first 10 minutes before blowing it, but not enough to lose in regulation because ya gotta get that loser point. It just gets boring. I can’t get excited about wins because it wrecks our chances at Connor Bedard or Adam Fantilli. I can’t get excited about loses because we get destroyed. I’ve seen this movie before. Do we need to watch the end?

See y’all Thursday against Boston.

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