COLUMBUS — Sergei Bobrovsky made 22 saves in his return for the Columbus Blue Jackets in a 7-5 win against the New York Rangers at Nationwide Arena on Sunday.
It was Bobrovsky’s first start since he missed one game (Thursday against the Nashville Predators) for what Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said was a failure to meet “certain expectations and values.”
He was the backup to Joonas Korpisalo against the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Nick Foligno scored two goals, and Cam Atkinson and Artemi Panarin each had a goal and an assist for Columbus (27-15-3), which has won three straight.
Mats Zuccarello scored two goals, and Alexandar Georgiev made 33 saves for New York (18-20-7), which is 1-6-0 in its past seven games.
Ryan Strome gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 4:34 of the first period, but Panarin scored off a face-off 34 seconds later to tie it 1-1.
Anthony Duclair gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead at 8:55 before Chris Kreider picked up a loose puck in the slot and scored during a 4-on-4 to tie it 2-2 at 17:56.
Atkinson redirected Zach Werenski‘s point shot at 14:00 of the second period to make it 3-2, and Lukas Sedlak extended the lead to 4-2 at 17:49.
Zuccarello cut it to 4-3 at 18:58, but Foligno scored with two seconds left in the period to make it 5-3.
David Savard pushed the lead to 6-3 at 5:29 of the third period off a pass from Panarin.
Zuccarello (15:00) and Jimmy Vesey (16:48) pulled the Rangers to within 6-5 before Foligno scored at 18:14 for the 7-5 final.
Rick Nash, who retired Friday after 15 NHL seasons because of medical reasons, dropped the ceremonial puck. Nash was selected with the No. 1 pick by the Blue Jackets in the 2002 NHL Draft and is their all-time leader in games played (674), goals (289), assists (258) and points (547). He played more than five seasons with the Rangers after he was acquired by them in a trade with Columbus on July 23, 2012.