Final 1 2 3 Tot
NY Rangers 1 2 0 3
Columbus 1 0 1 2
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, December 5, 2019
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio  Attendance: 15,785

Panarin returns to face Blue Jackets with Rangers

New York Rangers at Columbus Blue Jackets

  1. The Blue Jackets totaled 17 goals in winning three of four meetings with the Rangers last season, with New York's lone win a 5-4 shootout victory in Columbus on Nov. 10, 2018. The Rangers have lost three of their last four road games in the series, while the Jackets are 9-3-1 overall against New York since the start of the 2016-17 campaign.
  2. Columbus is an NHL-best 22-4-1 on Thursdays since March 8, 2018, and they've won each of their first three Thursday games this season -- all by one goal. The Blue Jackets have been involved in a league-high 16 one-goal games in 2019-20, four more than second-place St. Louis.
  3. The Blue Jackets rank third in the NHL with a plus-8 differential in power-play goals since Nov. 2, while the Rangers' -7 differential over that time frame is the third-worst in the league. Columbus is one of two teams, along with Edmonton, to rank in the top five in both power-play percentage and penalty-killing percentage since Nov. 2.
  4. Artemi Panarin will face the Blue Jackets for the first time since leaving Columbus to sign with the Rangers this offseason. Panarin set a Blue Jackets season record with 82 points in his first season with the team in 2017-18, then broke that mark by producing 87 points last season.
  5. After recording two goals in Columbus' first two games, Cam Atkinson has lit the lamp just twice in 24 games since Oct. 11, his fewest over any 24-game stretch within a season since he had two from Nov. 29, 2014-Feb. 3, 2015. Atkinson did have one goal in each of the Blue Jackets' two home games with the Rangers last season.
  6. Chris Kreider has at least one goal in each of the Rangers' last five matchups with Columbus, totaling six over that stretch. Kreider is the last Rangers player with a six-game goal streak against a single opponent, doing so against the Coyotes from 2015-17.

Artemi Panarin spent the previous two seasons piling up the points for the Columbus Blue Jackets and then cashed in during free agency to sign with the New York Rangers in July.

He'll make his return to Columbus on Thursday night when the Rangers visit the Blue Jackets.

Panarin led the Blue Jackets with a team-record 82 points in 2017-18 and then totaled 87 points last season as Columbus reached the playoffs in both seasons. The Blue Jackets obtained him in a trade with Chicago after he played his first two seasons there but were unable to retain him as the Rangers signed him to a seven-year, $81.5 million contract.

Two months into the deal, it is working out for the Rangers. Panarin leads the Rangers in scoring with 12 goals and 21 assists and he was highly productive while Mika Zibanejad was out with an upper-body injury from Oct. 27-Nov. 25.

Panarin has a point in 20 of New York's 26 games and before not getting a point in the Rangers' past two games, he had 23 points in 14 games. He also had a 12-game points streak from Oct. 24-Nov. 20 in which he totaled seven goals and 12 assists.

"I am confident," he said after a 4-1 win over Washington Nov. 20. "I try to play hard every game. Nothing changes. I do what I do every day the same."

Panarin has not gone more than two games without getting a point. His production has helped the Rangers go 9-5-2 in their past 16 games and 5-2-1 in their past eight games since losing consecutive games at Tampa Bay and Florida Nov. 14-16.

The Rangers are hoping to rebound from Monday's 4-1 home loss to the Vegas Golden Knights when they allowed two power-play goals and went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

"I've mentioned this before, where we've been good, or really bad (defensively)," Rangers coach David Quinn said. "It's a mindset, and something we've got to completely buy into -- that night in and night out, we have to be way more committed to playing the right way and playing defense."

Without Panarin, the Blue Jackets' 68 goals are the second-fewest in the league, only ahead of Detroit's 63. The Blue Jackets are 6-9-2 in their past 17 games since Oct. 24 and have scored three goals or less 14 times in that span.

Columbus dropped to 1-11-2 when scoring two goals or fewer on Tuesday when it dropped a 4-2 decision on home ice to the Arizona Coyotes.

"It's been like that almost the whole season," Columbus defenseman Dean Kukan said. "We can't score goals. That's the main issue we have. All in all, we played a good game."

Kukan and Alexandre Texier scored Tuesday for the Blue Jackets, who were hoping Cam Atkinson could step into Panarin's productive role. Atkinson had an assist Tuesday but only has 15 points so far and one goal in his past 17 games.

Columbus is struggling to score despite getting plenty of chances. The Blue Jackets outshot Arizona 35-28.

The Blue Jackets are 5-0-1 in the past six meetings against the Rangers.

--Field Level Media

Updated December 4, 2019