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Matt Calvert gets 36 stitches to face, returns to lift Jackets

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Matt Calvert was beaming in theColumbus Blue Jackets' locker room after scoring the winning goal with a bandaged forehead hiding about 36 stitches.

Calvert returned from absorbing a slap shot that requird medical attention and scored a short-handed, tiebreaking goal in the third period to lift the Blue Jackets to a franchise-record seventh straight home win, 4-2 over the New York Rangers on Friday night.

"You can't script it any better that he comes back and scores the winner for us," said Sam Gagner, who also scored. "That's just an unbelievable teammate and it gives every guy on the bench a huge shot when he comes back."

William Karlsson had a goal and an assist and Boone Jenner also scored for Columbus, which recovered from blowing a 2-0 lead in the third period. The Blue Jackets have won three in a row overall and seven of nine.Sergei Bobrovskyhad 25 saves.

Michael Grabner and Mika Zibanejad scored for New York, which lost for the third time in 14 games. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves for the Rangers.

"They made it tough for us to really get going," Lundqvist said. "But in the end it came down to one play. I think we feel a little disappointed even though being down 2-0 the way we lost this one."

About three minutes after Zibanejad evened the score at 8:32 of the third, the Rangers were looking to take the lead on the power play, but Calvert snuck a shot under Lundqvist's right arm on a 2-on-1 with Karlsson.

"I think when something like this happens emotions just kind of take over," Calvert said. "You're riding on adrenaline. I made a shot and it was great to see it hit the back of the net."

The Rangers pressured at the end but Bobrovksy stopped Chris Kreider's close range redirection with 11.6 seconds left.

Jenner scored into an empty net with Lundqvist pulled for the extra attacker.

"I don't think we gave them that much," Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella said. "I thought we did a really good job as far as cutting down the ice to play on entering our zone."

The matchup featuring the league's two most productive offenses was a slog in the first period. Karlsson capitalized on J.T. Miller's ill-advised pass attempt across the top of the circles. He let loose a low shot with no traffic through Lundqvist's legs for the first score with 3:26 left.

The pace and chances picked up after that. Gagner made it 2-0 with his seventh at 5:38 on another bad clearing pass by the Rangers. Gagner knocked the puck down with his stick then wristed a shot that banked off Lundqvist before landing across the goal line.

Grabner cut the deficit in half six minutes later when Columbus' Ryan Murray ripped the puck into the shin pads of the speedy forward, the carrom sending Grabner on a breakaway and he lifted a shot past Bobrovksy for his 11th.

On the tying score, Zibanejad found an open spot on the back side and sent a one-timer into an open net on a nice setup from Brady Skjei.

"Give them credit, they played a strong game, but in my mind there were some areas -- puck decisions -- that we could have been a lot better at," New York coach Alain Vigneault said.

Game notes

The first three goals of the game were unassisted. ... The Rangers entered with a 4.24 goals-per-game average, tops in the NHL. Columbus was second at 3.36. ... New York had won seven straight in the series. ... Calvert left in the second period and returned for the third. He left a sizable amount of blood on the ice. ... Kreider was back after missing the past two games with an upper-body (head/neck) issue. ... Jenner played his 200th career game. ... The Blue Jackets' 15 games played are the fewest in the league. The Rangers have played 18.

UP NEXT

Rangers: Host Florida on Sunday.

Blue Jackets: At Washington on Sunday.

Related Video
Calvert gets 30 stitches, returns to score game winner
Calvert gets 30 stitches, returns to score game winner
Matt Calvert returns to the game after getting hit in the face with a slap shot that needs 30 stitches to close. In the third period, Calvert scores a shorthanded goal to propel the Blue Jackets to a 4-2 win over the Rangers.

Calvert takes puck to face, returns to score game winner
Calvert takes puck to face, returns to score game winner
Columbus' Matt Calvert takes a slap shot to the forehead that requires 30 stitches to close. Later in the third period, Calvert returns to the ice and scores the go-ahead goal for the Blue Jackets.

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