NEW YORK – Derek Stepan scored 22 seconds into overtime, and the New York Rangers overcame a late tying goal by Columbus and one disallowed on their side in a 3-2 victory over the Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
Stepan took a pass from Michael Del Zotto, who faked a shot and scored into a wide-open left side of the net.
Columbus captain Rick Nash, the subject of trade rumors — including those involving the Rangers — got the Blue Jackets even at 2 with 1:33 left in regulation. That prompted chants of "We don't want you" from the disappointed Madison Square Garden crowd.
Artem Anisimov snapped a 1-1 tie in the second period for the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers, who got back to their winning ways following a 4-2 loss at home to Chicago on Thursday. New York (38-14-5) has won five of six and nine of 12 (9-2-1), and leads second-place Boston by nine points.
The Blue Jackets, who lost 6-1 at home to Chicago on Saturday, are last in the NHL with 41 points. Columbus had alternated wins and losses the previous six games.
Brad Richards gave the Rangers a first-period lead, and Derick Brassard tied it in the second. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 21 shots to earn the victory after taking a day off against Chicago.
Steve Mason made 32 saves for Columbus (17-35-7).
Nash could be on the move before next week's NHL trade deadline, and the Rangers are a potential destination for the high-scoring forward. He declined to say before the game whether he would like to be dealt or if New York is a team he wants to join.
Anisimov used a fortuitous bounce to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead with 6:47 left in the second. Dan Girardi fired a shot from the right point that sailed high and wide of the net and slammed off the end boards. While Mason scrambled to locate the puck, it kicked back out front to Anisimov, who scored his 11th of the season from just in front of the left post.
Mason was down on his stomach in the crease as the Rangers celebrated.
For the second straight period, the Blue Jackets spent most of the final two minutes on a failed power play. Columbus escaped danger in the final second of the second when the Rangers appeared to stretch the lead to 3-1.
New York got control of a loose puck in the Blue Jackets' end, and Del Zotto fired in a shot as the buzzer sounded. The officials huddled around the scorer's table as a video review ensued in Toronto. Unofficial television replays, that superimposed the dwindling clock against the replay of the goal, showed that the puck entered the net with 0:00.1 seconds left.
However, it was determined in Toronto that time had run out before the puck crossed the line. Referee Don Van Massenhoven was showered with boos when he made the announcement that the official video showed time expired, and those grew much louder when the television replay was displayed on the arena video board. Van Massenhoven explained the ruling to exasperated Rangers coach John Tortorella before he left the ice for the dressing room.
The Blue Jackets had gotten even at 1 at 5:26 of the second, just 5 seconds into a high-sticking penalty against Marian Gaborik. Antoine Vermette won a faceoff in the right circle back to Brassard, who glided along the blue line to the center of the ice and fired a shot through traffic that got past Lundqvist for Brassard's 11th goal.
Columbus got out of a 5-on-3 jam earlier in the period that lasted for 1:33 when Derek Dorsett and Nash were sent off.
The Rangers took a 1-0 lead in the opening period when Richards took a return pass from Carl Hagelin at the edge of the left circle and sent a sizzling shot past Mason with 2:11 left for his 18th goal.
NOTES: The Blue Jackets lost 3-2 at Los Angeles on Feb. 1 when Kings D Drew Doughty scored the winning goal with 1 second left in the game. Richards netted the winner at Phoenix on Dec. 17 with 0:00.1 seconds left. ... Anisimov has four goals and three assists in his past eight games. ... Brassard had gone five games without scoring before he netted the Blue Jackets' lone goal Saturday against Chicago.