The Rangers escaped with a win in Rick Nash’s return to Columbus on Friday, but Nash didn’t seem to be in a festive mood. He got into a scuffle with Sergei Bobrovsky after a disallowed goal and later dropped his gloves for a fight. Once Nash cooled off he was able to post a team leading seven shots on the night.
Carl Hagelin scored another goal (empty net), but he’s starting to see less and less time with Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis these days. His minutes are way lower than the other two and he doesn’t get much power play time. That experiment seems to be done.
Someone who is playing more with Martin St. Louis is Mats Zuccarello. He had a pair of assists against the Blue Jackets and did the same in his last outing against Ottawa. That could be a dangerous pair the rest of the way and heading into the playoffs.
Speaking of the playoffs, the addition of St. Louis has to move the Rangers up the pecking order in the Eastern Conference. If they can start finding some goal support to compliment the brick wall that is Henrik Lundqvist, they are going to be a very tough out this spring.
Columbus’ playoff bid took a hit with the loss to the Rangers, but you certainly couldn’t fault Sergei Bobrovsky. He made 29 stops and has had save percentages of over .925 in two games this week. Perfect timing for fantasy owners in a playoff matchup.
Ryan Johansen failed to score and had just a single shot on Friday, after notching a goal and posting seven shots on Thursday. He’s still going to hit 30 goals this year and potentially 60 points, which is the breakout campaign that many have been waiting for from Johansen. Something tells me we shouldn’t expect much more than this from him going forward though. Johansen avoided any lengthy scoring droughts this season and was very consistent, so he would need to really pull off some magic next year with multi-point games to increase his totals significantly.
The Blackhawks beat the Hurricanes 3-2 and made a couple of roster moves earlier in the day. They called up Jeremy Morin and Teuvo Teravainen. Morin played sparingly in this one and Teravainen didn’t dress, but expect them to both see action as it looks like Patrick Kane is going to be out of action for a little while. Teravainen has had a lot of buzz around him and he's been almost a point-per-game player in the Finnish Elite League this season. Depending on what lines they are placed with, either could be a sleeper for a fantasy playoff run.
Andrew Shaw grabbed an assist on Friday to give him eight points in eight games. He was stuck in a rough slump for much of December and January, but looks to have sorted things out. He’s bounced around with a bunch of different lines this year but has seemed to have found a home with Michal Handzus and Patrick Sharp lately. Shaw is someone that could step up with Kane sidelined.