Here were the Rangers with a one-goal lead in the third period and there were the Rangers stuck in their own zone for essentially the entire 20 minutes.

But though the Blueshirts bent they never broke and though there were scrambles aplenty in front of the net, the goaltender was simply unflappable.

The goaltender, you should understand, was Cam Talbot and not Henrik Lundqvist.

“I try to stay calm, and it might look that way, but if I were wearing a heart monitor it would tell a different story,” the 26-year-old said after the Rangers defeated the Blue Jackets 4-2 Thursday night for their fifth victory in their last six games. “This is all kind of new to me.”

Being in the NHL might be new to Talbot, who was recalled on Oct. 20 to replace Martin Biron as Lundqvist’s understudy and made his NHL debut four nights later in Philadelphia, but providing the Rangers with quality work has become a habit.

The fact is Talbot has allowed two goals or fewer in each of his four NHL starts, winning the last three after dropping his debut 2-1. What could have been a huge problem area for the Rangers—finding a No. 2 to start 15-to-22 games in order not to put an undue burden on Lundqvist—has instead turned into a position of strength.

“Henrik is Henrik, and there’s been enough said about Henrik Lundqvist that I don’t need to add anything, but now we have Cam Talbot stepping up, and I can say we have the same level of confidence in both guys,” Derek Stepan said. “That’s what you want and that’s what you need.”

It was a strange game between these two clubs who have cross-pollinated often and dramatically enough that the match became an incestuous affair with Brandon Dubinsky, Marian Gaborik, Artem Anisimov and Fedor Tyutin wearing home blue and Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore in visiting white while Rick Nash remained in New York dealing with the after-effects of his Oct. 8 concussion.

The Blueshirts owned much of the opening period that ended 1-1, dominated the second period that ended 3-2 with 21 shots, and then went the first 14:27 of the third with one shot — Marc Staal from the neutral zone — while 13 of the first 16 faceoffs were in the New York zone.