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Rested Blue Jackets too much for weary Rangers

Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the Columbus Blue Jackets

Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Mika Zibanejad #93 of the New York Rangers fight for puck possession during the second period at Madison Square Garden on Feb. 26, 2017. Credit: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

Brandon Dubinsky summed up the difference between the Rangers and Blue Jackets on Sunday night and the Islanders and Blue Jackets the night before.

“We didn’t try to get too cute,” the former Ranger said. “We were getting pucks deep, we were forechecking, we were playing the style that makes us successful . . . I think we put six periods in.”

Columbus, coming off its five-day bye, scored 12 goals and allowed two in the two games.

On Sunday, he said, “we played a simple, straight-ahead game, and we had some fun out there, too . . . It was a huge win for us, especially where the standings are at.”

Coach John Tortorella acknowledged that the Rangers may have been a little tired.

“I’ve watched them, and they have played a lot of hockey,” he said. “Maybe if they score a goal early, it gives them some juice. It didn’t happen. Bob [Sergei Bobrovsky] makes a couple of great saves early on [Rick] Nash, bang, bang. Third period, I thought we were going to get a push from them. I’m not sure how much gas they had left . . . I’m pleased with our guys. We probably played six of our best periods of the year.”

Blue notes

Pavel Buchnevich was scratched with the flu. The Russian rookie had been a healthy scratch for the two previous games . . . Although the Rangers’ power play set up better and tested the Jackets twice, its success rate fell to 3-for-44 . . . Brandon Pirri led the Rangers with nine shot attempts, including five on net . . . Jimmy Vesey and Kevin Hayes totaled zero shots on net . . . Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider each was a minus-3 . . . Jesper Fast’s goal was his fifth of the season . . . Matt Puempel has played once in the last 10 games, and defenseman Kevin Klein missed his second straight with back spasms . . . The Rangers are off Monday and host Eastern Conference-leading Washington on Tuesday night.

New York Sports