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New York Rangers Blank Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 Behind Shesterkin's Shutout

Shesterkin stopped all 20 shots he faced, marking his 11th career shutout.

The New York Rangers cruised to a 4-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night behind Igor Shesterkin's third shutout of the season. Shesterkin stopped all 20 shots he faced, marking his 11th career shutout.

The Rangers' victory pulled them within two points of the New Jersey Devils for second place in the Metropolitan Division and home-ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Devils played at Boston on Saturday night.

The game was a solid effort from the Rangers, as coach Gerard Gallant explained, "It's our last game on the road until the playoffs, so it was good to play well on the road. I thought tonight was just a good, solid effort. It wasn't a high-intense game, but it was exactly what we needed."

The Blue Jackets struggled to get anything going offensively, managing just 20 shots on goal. Michael Hutchinson stopped 24 shots in his 150th NHL game for Columbus, but the team has now lost six of its last seven games and remains tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for the fewest points in the NHL with 56.

"They hold on to the puck -- they make you defend a lot," Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. "It's hard to create when they're holding on and they won't give it back. Three or four goals, we turned the puck over. You can't do that against that group. They're very dangerous."

Despite being outshot 12-9 in the first period, the Rangers took a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes thanks to goals from Jimmy Vesey and Chris Kreider. The second period was scoreless, with the Rangers outshooting Columbus 11-2.

Niko Mikkola put New York up by three goals five minutes into the third period with his first goal in 109 games dating back to Jan. 15, 2022. Vincent Trocheck notched the game's final goal with 20 seconds left.

The Rangers will look to continue their push for the playoffs as they return home to face the Devils on Monday night, while the Blue Jackets will try to turn things around when they host the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.

Travis Jones

Monday, April 10, 2023

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