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Panarin leads Rangers to win in return to Columbus


EditorsNote: Fixed Lemieux spelling in 2nd reference in 6th graf

Artemi Panarin -- who left the Blue Jackets for New York via free agency last summer -- made a triumphant return to Ohio by scoring the game-winning goal as the visiting Rangers claimed a 3-2 win at Columbus on Thursday.

Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev made 45 saves in the victory, a game in which New York was outplayed but erased an early deficit with three consecutive goals.

The last was Panarin's, which made it 3-1 with 4:28 remaining in the second period. Panarin finished a pretty three-way passing play for his 13th goal of the season and was serenaded by boos from the crowd.

New York has posted a 5-1-1 record in its last seven games while Columbus lost for the fourth time in five games.

The Blue Jackets dominated the first period and received a reward when Cam Atkinson opened the scoring. Atkinson raced up the ice on an odd-man rush, took a feed from Nick Foligno and found the mark with a shot from the slot at 12:43 for his fifth goal of the season. The assist was Foligno's 300th point with the Blue Jackets.

New York's Brendan Lemieux tied the game with eight seconds remaining in the opening period. Rookie Kaapo Kakko forced a turnover, and Mika Zibanejad sent a pass to the front of the net that Lemieux buried.

Jacob Trouba put the Rangers ahead 2-1 with a power-play goal at 5:46 of the second period. Trouba set up shop at the left point and sent a wrist shot from the top of the circle that banked off the inside of the post.

Seth Jones provided the Blue Jackets a jolt with his tally 3:33 into the third period that rounded out the scoring. Jones eluded the defenders, worked to the slot and fired a perfect shot to make it a one-goal game.

Joonas Korpisalo made 16 saves for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped three games in a row.

New York returns home to face the Montreal Canadiens on Friday while Columbus is off until a Saturday road game against the Florida Panthers.

--Field Level Media

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