Rangers-Blue Jackets: New York Explodes for Seven, Defeats Columbus, 7-4
Sometimes all you need is a little timeout.
That's all it took for the New York Rangers to get the message sent by coach John Tortorella Monday night.
Down 2-0 to Columbus early in the first period, Tortorella quickly called a timeout in an attempt to have his team relax and regain composure.
Whatever he said made a world of difference, as the Rangers—who looked flat-footed in the defensive end—answered with three straight goals to end the first period.
The scoring onslaught continued in the second period as the Rangers poured on four more goals, jumping out to a 7-2 lead.
Marian Gaborik, as usual, started the scoring for the Rangers, scoring his 17th goal of the season, off a behind-the-net-pass from Vinny Prospal.
Gaborik added another goal in the second period, tying him with Dany Heatley for the league lead. Gaborik also added two assists, landing him with the No. 1 star of the game.
Artem Anisimov tied the game at two, scoring his fifth goal of the season off a deflection by Wade Redden.
Anisimov's goal was the first by a Ranger other than Gaborik or Prospal in over 211 minutes of play.
"I'll have No. 10 score all the goals, I don't care as long as we're winning" joked Henrik Lundqvist. "I think it's good for players to get some confidence in front of the net, and feel like it's paying off when you're working hard."
Rookie defensemen Michael Del Zotto continued his impressive rookie campaign on a spectacular break down the middle, wristing the puck passed Columbus goalie Steve Mason, putting the Rangers ahead 3-2.
The Rangers then blew the game wide open during a 1:11 flurry of play during the second period.
After hitting P.A. Parenteau with a tape-to-tape pass at center ice, Sean Avery followed up Parenteau's shot with a wrap-around goal on the power play.
Avery followed that with another goal 51 seconds later off a beautiful 2-on-1 pass by Gaborik.
Those two goals were the first Avery had scored in 16 games.
"The last four or five games I've tried to pick my game up a little bit and find that line that I've played at in the past" said Avery. "I got some chances the last game and couple chances game before that and they just weren't going. Tonight I got a couple, the second one was a great play by Gabby, I just had to hit the net."
Matt Gilroy added the seventh unanswered goal for the Rangers on a breakaway midway through the second period.
The Rangers had nine players with a point and five had a multi-point performance.
Columbus enforcer Jared Boll added a "Gordie Howe hat trick"—a goal, an assist, and two fights.
The Rangers (12-10-1) begin a three-game road trip Wednesday night against Florida.
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