NEW YORK (AP) — Matt Calvert, Artem Anisimov and David Savard scored in the first 11:10 and the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Rangers 4-2 on Thursday night, sending New York to its fourth straight loss.
The Rangers, 0-3-1 on its nine-game homestand, closed within 3-2 in the third period, but Ryan Johansen pushed Columbus’ lead back to two goals with 1:32 left.
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The Blue Jackets goalie tandem of Curtis McElhinney and Mike McKenna, who are subbing for injured reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky, stopped 32 of 34 shots.
Columbus (14-15-3) has won two in a row.
Dominic Moore and defenseman Dan Girardi scored for New York. Henrik Lundqvist was pulled after he stopped only 10 of 13 shots in the first period.
Cam Talbot relieved and made 13 saves the rest of the way, allowing only Johansen’s goal between his pads.
Columbus grabbed the lead just 38 seconds in on Calvert’s goal. He took a pass from Cam Atkinson at the blue line and burned defenseman Anton Stralman before ripping a shot that beat Lundqvist high.
Anisimov increased the lead to 2-0 with his fourth of the season at 8:46. The former Rangers forward roofed Blake Comeau’s feed over Lundqvist. Savard’s goal nearly eight minutes later pushed Columbus’ lead to three and ended Lundqvist’s night.
Moore got the Rangers within 3-1 at 14:08 with his first of the season. Moore backhanded Brad Richards’ feed past McElhinney.
Girardi’s second of season at 11:07 of the third was as close as the Rangers (15-17-1) would get.
McElhinney was replaced by McKenna before the start of the second period. The Blue Jackets said McElhinney sustained a lower-body injury in the first period when he made 15 saves. McKenna stopped 17 shots in the final two frames.
NOTES: Rangers D Dylan McIlrath, recalled from Hartford (AHL) on Wednesday, made his NHL debut. McIlrath, the No. 10 pick in the 2010 draft, had seven points and 115 penalty minutes in 24 games with Hartford. .The game marked the first game in New York for ex-Rangers Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky. The two, along with defenseman Tim Erixon and a draft pick, were traded to Columbus for Rick Nash, defenseman Steven Delisle and a pick. … Nash, center Brad Richards and defenseman Dan Girardi were alternate captains for the Rangers, who were without captain Ryan Callahan. He is expected to be out 4 to 6 weeks because of a knee injury sustained this week. New York D Marc Staal (concussion) missed his second game in a row. … Columbus killed all three Rangers power plays. … The new Metropolitan Division rivals will meet twice more this season.