In what seemed like an ultimate grudge match, players on both sides of the Columbus Blue Jackets-New York Rangers rivalry stepped up to inflict damage on their former team.
Brandon Dubinsky had a goal and assist, and the Blue Jackets edged the Rangers 4-3 in a shootout on Monday night.
Former Blue Jackets star Rick Nash — acquired in the deal that sent Dubinsky to Columbus — did his best to lift the Rangers, but his two power-play goals were only enough to get New York even. He and Mats Zuccarello were stopped by Sergei Bobrovsky in the tiebreaker.
"It would've been nice to get that other point," Nash said. "We've got to come out a lot better, and we can't keep making mistakes that end up in the back of our net."
Bobrovsky made 40 saves through overtime in his first action in over a month to backstop Columbus' win at the end of a 2-2 road trip.
"This was a good two points for us," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Bob was great with big save after big save. Dubinsky was really big for us. He played a strong game."
Mark Letestu and Ryan Johansen scored against Henrik Lundqvist in the shootout.
"I'm happy we got a point. We played well for 60 minutes," Lundqvist said. "The difference is I didn't stop the breakaways and (Bobrovsky) did — one in the second and in the shootout. I have some work to do."
Lundqvist had the night off Saturday when backup Cam Talbot won 7-1 at Toronto. Lundqvist is 2-1-1 since sitting for three straight games in late December.
Nash had tied it 3-3 with his second of the night, and ninth of the season, at 6:55 of the third period as David Savard served a penalty for delay of game.
Defenseman James Wisniewski also had a goal and assist, and Cam Atkinson scored on a second-period breakaway to help the Blue Jackets win.
"Always good to end road trips on a high note," Wisniewski said. "We've been coming together as a team more and more."
Bobrovsky shined in his return from a 14-game absence caused by a strained groin. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner had been out since Dec. 3 but showed no rust in a matchup with Lundqvist — the Vezina winner in 2012.
The Rangers came away with a point because of Nash, acquired from Columbus in 2012. Brian Boyle cut the deficit to 3-2 at 4:53 of the third, and Lundqvist made 36 saves through overtime for New York, which had won three of four before returning home.
The game took a noticeable turn 21 seconds into the second when Rangers forward Chris Kreider drove Columbus defenseman Fedor Tyutin into the left-wing boards with a shoulder-to-shoulder hit that left Tyutin down on his stomach. Dubinsky skated over to challenge Kreider, but a fight didn't ensue.
Kreider was given a major penalty for boarding and was ejected. Dubinsky received a minor for roughing. Tyutin left soon after and didn't return to the game.
"I looked at the replay. He tried to stop just before," Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said of Kreider. "It seemed like he stopped, and sort of a follow-through from their player. Anytime a guy gets pushed into the boards the way he did, the referees don't have much of a choice."
Vigneault doesn't expect Kreider to be suspended.
Richards, who said the team will know more about Tyutin's status on Tuesday, called the injury "more of a charley horse than anything else."
With the teams skating 4-on-4, Atkinson stole the puck from defenseman Anton Stralman at the New York blue line, and raced alone the other way. He received little resistance from Stralman and beat Lundqvist to restore Columbus' lead at 2-1.
Columbus didn't take further advantage of the three-minute power play.
Just 27 seconds after Columbus killed a penalty, Dubinsky made a perfect pass from the left-wing boards across the Rangers zone to a streaking Wisniewski on the right side. Wisniewski fired a rising shot that got in under the crossbar to make it 3-1 with 3:13 left in the second.
Bobrovsky stopped 15 shots in each of the first two periods. He denied Brad Richards at the right post with his pads when Richards took a pair of whacks at a loose puck. Benoit Pouliot was stopped earlier in the period on a breakaway.
Nash tied it 1-1 when he snapped a rising wrist shot from the left circle that caromed in off the left post with 52.8 seconds left in the first.
Dubinsky had staked Columbus to a 1-0 lead with 2:53 remaining when Wisniewski's shot hit him in the leg and deflected in.
NOTES: Newly acquired forward Daniel Carcillo didn't make his Rangers debut. ... Boyle scored for the second time in two games after going 27 games without a goal. ... Dubinsky has a goal and two assists in three games vs. New York. ... The 43 shots were the most allowed by Columbus this season.