Stepan lifts Rangers over Blue Jackets 2-1 in Staal’s debut

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NEW YORK — Derek Stepan scored a short-handed goal with 2:48 to play and the New York Rangers beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 on Monday night in Eric Staal’s much-anticipated debut.

Mats Zuccarello also scored and Antti Raanta made 26 saves in giving the Rangers heir 13th win in 18 games (13-4-1). Henrik Lundqvist’s backup denied Cam Atkinson on the doorstep with less than a second remaining to preserve the victory.

Atkinson his 20th goal of the season and Joonas Korpisalo had 22 saves for Columbus, which finished 7-3-3 in February.

Stepan gave the Rangers the lead on a partial breakaway while Eric’s brother, Marc Staal, was in the penalty box. Raanta made it stand up with a pad save on Atkinson just before the final horn. Columbus put in the rebound but it was after time ran out.