COLUMBUS, OH - DECEMBER 5: Alexandar Georgiev #40 of the New York Rangers is congratulated by his teammates after defeating the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-2 on December 5, 2019 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.
(Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

Artemi Panarin strikes against his former team, but Alexandar Georgiev steals the show in the New York Rangers 3-2 win in Columbus. 

  • New York Rangers 3 (14-10-3, 31 pts)
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 2 (11-13-4, 26 pts)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH

Artemi Panarin, who left the Columbus Blue Jackets this past offseason to sign with the New York Rangers, was greeted at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus with a fair amount of boos. Unfortunately for the home team, that booing and jeering did not get to the Rangers or to Panarin.

The Bread Man scored against his former team, but it was the Rangers goaltender on this night, Alexandar Georgiev, who stole the show in the 3-2 victory.

With Brady Skjei in the penalty box and the Blue Jackets looking for the equalizer with under two minutes to go in regulation, Georgiev came up with a game-saving beauty of a stop.

Georgiev stopped 45 shots in total while helping his team steal this one. He also got the Rangers started with a beautiful pair of saves early on. Those, coupled with the game-saver, marked three unbelievable saves by the kid on this Thursday night.

The Blue Jackets got on the board first after Skjei broke his stick and Cam Atkinson’s shot beat both Jacob Trouba and Georgiev.

Libor Hajek appeared to get hurt but came back into the game, only to be ruled out with a knee sprain during the first intermission.

With eight seconds left in the first, Mika Zibanejad executed a jaw-dropping no-look pass between his legs to Brendan Lemieux, who scored to add to his impressive resume, as of late.

As a result of Hajek’s injury, Brendan Smith was moved back to the defense in the second period.

The Blue Jackets, who are generally a very disciplined team, went on to commit two penalties in the second. A terrible high-sticking infraction committed by Emil Bemstrom on Chris Kreider led to Trouba sniping the puck in for his first power-play goal as a Ranger.

Later on in the period, fantastic passing by several Rangers allowed Panarin to score immediately after coming off the bench. This was his first goal against his former team and he was, expectedly, met with plenty of boos.

The Rangers started the third period on the penalty kill, which was not a problem for them the whole night.

About five minutes into the period, the referees made a very questionable icing call on the Rangers. This was followed by a terrible defensive effort by Pavel Buchnevich in front of the net, allowing Seth Jones to score.

David Quinn challenged for goalie interference, and even though he appeared to be correct, that was not the smartest decision due to the lack of overturns the NHL has experienced. As expected, the Rangers lost the challenge and were issued a penalty. They killed it, improving to 4-for-4 on the PK for the night.

Georgiev made a phenomenal sequence of saves at just over the halfway mark of the period.

This game was not a good one for the Rangers via the officials. Skjei was taken down hard with over five minutes left, but no call. To make matters worse, Skjei was called for tripping Gustav Nyquist with 2:10 left.

Outstanding saves by Georgiev that saved the game followed by amazing defense by Trouba allowed the Rangers to remain perfect on the PK for the night.

Georgiev was easily the Star of the Game after making 45 saves, almost all of which were phenomenal.

The Rangers will hope to make it two-straight when they host the Montreal Canadiens at the Garden on Friday night.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.