Jack­ets hold off Rangers to sweep back-to-back

The Columbus Dispatch - - Sports - By Brian Hedger The Colum­bus Dis­patch

Blue Jack­ets 7, Rangers 5

They fired the can­non for Blue Jack­ets goals Sun­day night at Na­tion­wide Arena, but if you lis­tened close you might’ve heard the sound of a cash regis­ter, too.

“This is an ‘in the bank,’ game for me,” coach John Tor­torella said, prior to the Jack­ets’ 7-5 vic­tory against the New York Rangers to sweep a back-to-back that be­gan Satur­day with a 4-3 over­time win in Wash­ing­ton. “Get­ting points in the bank, now, to where it helps you in April, I think this is a re­ally im­por­tant game for that be­cause I think we feel good about our­selves.”

He was ea­ger to see whether the Jack­ets felt too good about them­selves, sat­is­fied with what they’d al­ready done by re­spond­ing

to an ugly loss Tues­day at the Tampa Bay Light­ning with wins against two of the NHL’S top teams — the Nashville Preda­tors and Capi­tals.

This was also the fourth game in six days for Colum­bus and could’ve been one of those cruise-con­trol nights with a day off loom­ing Mon­day.

“I think you can talk your­self into not hav­ing en­ergy tonight,” Tor­torella said. “I hope we talk our­selves into just try­ing to fin­ish these six days the proper way.”

Ul­ti­mately, that’s ex­actly what hap­pened, even if it did get a lit­tle ugly in the third pe­riod.

Nick Foligno scored two goals, Artemi Pa­narin and Cam Atkin­son had a goal and as­sist each, de­fense­man Ryan Mur­ray fin­ished with two as­sists after

re­turn­ing from an ill­ness and the Blue jack­ets (27-15-3) got points from 13 dif­fer­ent play­ers to win their third straight game.

“We found an­other way to get two points out of it,” said Foligno, whose sec­ond goal was the fi­nal one in the game and sealed the win with 1:46 left in the third pe­riod. “You can make all the ex­cuses in the world with how much hockey we’ve played of late, but you’ve got to find a way to get it done and we did tonight.”

Lukas Sed­lak, David Savard and An­thony Du­clair also scored for the Jack­ets, who moved into sec­ond place of the Metropoli­tan Divi­sion with 57 points.

They’re two points be­hind the Capi­tals and one ahead of the Pitts­burgh Pen­guins in a tight divi­sion race that in­cludes the New York Is­lan­ders (54 points), who downed the Tampa Bay Light­ning 5-1 on Sun­day night.

It wasn’t as com­fort­able as it could’ve been, though.

Colum­bus held leads of 3-1, 4-2, 5-3 and 6-4 be­fore Foligno’s sec­ond goal of the game fi­nally pro­vided the fi­nal mar­gin. Prior to that score, the Rangers scrapped their way back into the game with goals that made the Jack­ets play hard right to the end.

Each time New York pulled closer, the Jack­ets re­sponded with goals of their own — back­ing up goal­tender Sergei Bo­brovsky on a tough night in net to cap a tough week for him. It was the first ac­tion for Bo­brovsky since tak­ing the loss at the Light­ning on Tues­day, then miss­ing the game against the Preda­tors as a dis­ci­plinary mea­sure stem­ming from an undis­closed “in­ci­dent” in Tampa.

“We move ahead,” said Bo­brovsky, who al­lowed five goals on 27 shots. “I get back to

work and do my things, try to do my best to help this team win.”

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