The New York Rangers finally locked up a postseason berth Monday, posting a 4-2 road victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets to end their three-game slide (0-2-1).
New York became third team from the Metropolitan Division to qualify for the playoffs, joining the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who own a three-point lead over the Rangers for second place with three games remaining. The New York Islanders and Philadelphia Flyers, also members of the Metropolitan, currently occupy the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.
Chris Kreider and Derek Stepan each recorded a goal and an assist while Mats Zuccarello and defenseman Dan Boyle also tallied for the Rangers, who have reached the postseason for the sixth straight season and 10th time in 11 campaigns. The club has been a threat to win the Stanley Cup each of the past two seasons, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in the Final in 2014 before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a seven-game conference final last spring.
While the result of the game was cause for celebration, the Rangers did have some concerns as they lost captain Ryan McDonagh to an upper-body injury. The defenseman appeared to get hurt while blocking a shot late in the first period and missed the final two sessions.