NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, December 12th (All times Eastern)

Columbus Blue Jackets (13-15-3) at New York Rangers (15-16-1), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Rick Nash isn't focused on facing his former team for the first time, not with his New York Rangers in the midst of a four-game losing streak at home.

Still, there will be plenty of focus on Nash's first meeting with his former Columbus club on Thursday night when the Blue Jackets pay a visit to Madison Square Garden.

The first overall pick by the Blue Jackets in the 2002 draft, Nash is the franchise's all-time leader in goals, assists, points and games played. However, he made the playoffs just once during his nine seasons with the club and finally asked for a trade prior to the 2012-13 season.

Columbus was able to accommodate him by shipping the 29-year-old to the Rangers on July 23, 2012 for centers Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, defenseman Tim Erixon and a 2013 first-round draft pick, but the clubs did not play each other during the following season due to the lockout-influenced schedule.

The Rangers visited the Blue Jackets on Nov. 7 and claimed a 4-2 victory, but Nash missed the game due to a concussion that kept him on the shelf for 17 games. New York's next trip to Columbus isn't until March 21.

Nash has six goals and five assists in 15 games this season and picked up his 600th NHL point with a goal in Tuesday's 4-1 setback to the Nashville Predators. The defeat dropped the Rangers to 0-2-1 on their current nine-game homestand -- the longest in franchise history -- and the club is on its first four-game slide at home since Feb. 20-March 3, 2011.

"It's just a really tough stretch for us right now where it's hard to get points," said New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 22 saves on 25 shots faced. "You just have to work through it, stick together and like I said, be positive. It's definitely a test for all of us."

Already without defenseman Marc Staal due to a concussion, Rangers captain Ryan Callahan exited Tuesday's loss in the first period with a sprained knee that is expected to sideline him for at least a month.

Those two injuries, combined with the current losing streak, has Nash more focused on righting the ship than facing the Blue Jackets.

"I think it's overshadowed by what we're worried about right now," Nash told the Columbus Dispatch. "We're worried about winning games and getting two points and kind of ending this losing streak.

"It'll be fun, but I think I only know one guy, maybe two or three guys that I played with. It's a totally different team. More importantly we have to win games here. We're worried about the Rangers and not other things."

Tuesday's game will also mark a return to Madison Square Garden for the players dealt to the Blue Jackets for Nash: Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon, though Erixon is expected to be a healthy scratch.

Dubinsky was a second-round pick by New York in 2004 and spent five full seasons with the Rangers prior to the trade, twice reaching the 20-goal mark.

Anisimov, a 2006 second-round selection by the Blueshirts, spent three seasons in New York.

"I'm going to go in there fired up (Thursday) night, trying to show (Rangers) management that they made the wrong decision trading me, and let them know, try to make them feel, like they wish they still had me," Dubinsky told the Columbus Dispatch.

Another Blue Jacket who will miss a return to MSG will be Marian Gaborik, dealt by the Rangers to Columbus on April 3 of last season for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett, John Moore and a draft pick. Gaborik had an assist in the November meeting, but is currently out with a sprained knee.

Columbus is also playing without goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenseman James Wisniewski, while offseason pickup Nathan Horton has still yet to make his debut with the club due to shoulder surgery.

Still, the Blue Jackets found a way to win on Tuesday, rallying for a 5-4 win over the New Jersey Devils.

Columbus won for the third time in its past four games overall despite giving up a goal just 32 seconds into the game and trailing 3-1 early in the second period. Cam Atkinson had two goals and two assists, Dubinsky notched four points off a goal and three helpers and Nick Foligno was credited with the winner when Ryan Johansen's pass went off his skate with 91 seconds left in regulation.

"I don't think we had a great start. I don't think our legs were moving," said Dubinsky. "I think we were a little bit tired tonight and I think it showed. But we found a way to get a big win against a division rival.

"We definitely gritted it out."

Johansen has two goals and six assists over a six-game point streak.

With Bobrovsky sidelined with a strained groin, McElhinney is likely to make his first career start versus the Rangers tonight.

Lundqvist is 3-2-0 with a 2.62 goals against average in five previous meetings with Columbus.

The Rangers have won four of their past five encounters with the Jackets, taking two straight at home.

12/12 10:40:36 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Lindholm, Canes win third straight, top Sharks 5-3 22
Muller: No word from management on job status

Carolina Hurricanes coach Kirk Muller says he has not been told by management if he will keep his job.

Related Stories

Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3Final(OT3) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado «5Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Los Angeles3Final | Box
San Jose «6Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Tomorrow at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
Final
SDP 1
COL 3
Final
PIT 11
MIL 2
Final
WAS 0
STL 8
Final
TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
Final
CWS 1
BOS 3
Final
HOU 1
KAN 5
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
Final
NYR 4
PHI 1
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
COL 5
MIN 4
Final
SJS 6
LOS 3
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR