Columbus, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Henrik Lundqvist's 35 saves got the New York Rangers back on track with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
After being shut out by the Islanders and Boston over their previous two games, the Rangers received second-period goals from Marc Staal and Chris Kreider to support Lundqvist's sharp effort. Derek Stepan assisted on both markers.
"It was a fun game to play, but challenging," Lundqvist said. "They put a lot of pressure on the net."
Scott Hartnell produced Columbus' lone goal and Sergei Bobrovsky finished with 24 saves in the loss, the Blue Jackets' fourth straight.
Bobrovsky came up with 13 saves to keep New York's scoreless stretch ongoing through one period, but the Rangers finally broke out of their drought just under six minutes into the second.
Stepan's shot from the left circle was kicked aside by Bobrovsky, but Staal swooped in to put home the rebound for a 1-0 New York lead.
The Rangers struck again just over four minutes later. Stepan hit Kreider in stride with a pinpoint pass from the neutral zone, leading to a partial breakaway that the latter finished by slipping a backhander under Bobrovsky's pad.
"You could see when we scored that first goal we relaxed a bit," Lundqvist said. "We started playing a lot better. We had more speed in our game."
Lundqvist, meanwhile turned back 14 chances during a busy opening period and 10 more in the second before Columbus got on the board early in the third.
Ryan Johansen hit Hartnell with a crisp outlet pass from the Blue Jackets' end and the veteran beat Lundqvist to the glove side while uncontested with 3:16 elapsed in the third. Bobrovsky, who stoned former Columbus captain Rick Nash just moments earlier, received the secondary assist on the goal.
Lundqvist denied the Jackets the rest of the way, however, with Columbus' best late opportunity a close-range shot from Johansen that was covered up with under six minutes left.
New York had a would-be clinching goal from Kevin Klein with 1:26 remaining waved off for a stick above the crossbar. However, the Blue Jackets mustered just one more shot afterward.
"We had our chances," Hartnell said. "Lundqvist stood on his head at times."
Johansen's assist on Hartnell's goal extended his franchise-record point streak to 12 games, during which he's notched seven goals and seven helpers ... Stepan had sat out New York's 3-0 loss at Boston on Thursday due to an upper-body injury ... The Blue Jackets fell to 0-16-0 when trailing after two periods ... The Rangers are 12-1-1 in their last 14 games against fellow Metropolitan Division teams.