NEW YORK -- Now it's the New York Rangers' turn to try and do something that more than a quarter of the NHL has failed to do over the last two-plus weeks: Beat the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Rangers will attempt to slow the hottest team in the league Tuesday night, when the Blue Jackets visit Madison Square Garden for the final game this season between the Metropolitan Division rivals.
The Blue Jackets ran their winning streak to eight games Monday night, when they came back from a two-goal deficit to edge the host Boston Bruins, 5-4. The Rangers last played Saturday, when they fell to the host St. Louis Blues, 4-3, in overtime.
While the Rangers (32-32-8) are playing out the string after embarking upon a rebuilding project in February, the surge by the Blue Jackets (40-28-5) has dramatically enhanced their playoff prospects.
Columbus, which was tied for the Eastern Conference's second wild card before its winning streak began on March 4, is now six points ahead of the Florida Panthers, who are in ninth place in the East, and tied for third place in the Metropolitan with the Philadelphia Flyers. The two teams are two points behind the second-place Pittsburgh Penguins and four points behind the first-place Washington Capitals.
The Blue Jackets' streak appeared imperiled Monday, when they trailed the Bruins 3-1 late in the third period. The victory was the fourth one-goal decision over the eight-game run for Columbus.
"We're a resilient group -- I don't think we played nearly our best, found a way to just stick with it," said Blue Jackets right winger Cam Atkinson, who scored the game-winning goal 2:55 into overtime. "It was a huge two points."
The Blue Jackets' No. 1 goalie, Sergei Bobrovsky, will likely draw the start after backup Joonas Korpisalo earned the win Monday by recording 34 saves. Bobrovsky last played Saturday, when he stopped 23 shots and was credited with the win in Columbus' 2-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.
Want news content for your site?