NEWARK, New Jersey - Getting two points on any night in the National Hockey League is a tough task. But for visiting teams coming into Madison Square Garden, that challenge has been even more difficult early this season.
The Winnipeg Jets (5-6-1) look to become only the second team to beat the New York Rangers at MSG tonight, a place where the Rangers have won seven of eight games to start the 2016-2017 campaign.
But should the Jets come out of tonight with a win, they'll finish off a three-game road trip with five of a possible six points.
"We know they're going to be coming out with some momentum, some energy, but they're coming out on the back half of a back-to-back," said Adam Lowry, who has points in two of the last three games.
"So it's important that we get off to a good start, get some momentum, get some shots, and generate some pressure in their zone."
Video: PREGAME | Adam Lowry
In each of the previous two games on the trip, the Jets have rallied in the third period. The first came in Washington, when Winnipeg scored three times to force overtime before falling 4-3. The next night in Detroit, four goals in the final 20 minutes paved the way to a 5-3 win over the Red Wings.
Head coach Paul Maurice praised how the team performed after the opening eight minutes in Detroit, and Adam Lowry says that same type of effort will be needed against the Rangers, who at 9-3-0, sit atop the Metropolitan Division, tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Video: PREGAME | Patrik Laine
"It's about finding ways to slow them down and take the crowd noise for what it is. Sometimes the puck isn't going to be close to the net, but the crowd is going to be reacting," said Lowry. "I think early on in the Detroit game, we had some turnovers and they're a fast team, and they were able to create some shots and generate some stuff off the rush.
"We started to get on pucks similar to the way we had played against Washington in the last two games. Obviously the second period was a bit of a struggle again, but the third period is the way we want to continue playing."
Video: PREGAME | Paul Maurice
Overall, the Jets have been happy with their play in the first period as of late. The work continues on closing the gap in the second, where Winnipeg has been outscored 17-4, that middle frame has been where the Rangers have been the most dangerous, holding a 20-6 edge on their opponents.
But the Jets aren't intimidated. They want to improve on the second period, for sure, but there is also a belief in the room that the team can rally from behind, as they've done to Carolina, Toronto, Washington, and Detroit.
Video: PREGAME | Nic Petan
"You can't really change your style in the NHL for the most part. You can make some adjustments on what you need to be aware of," said Maurice. "Speed clearly is something you have to be aware of. You can never turn the puck over, but some teams you can recover from it. With the Rangers you can't."
Puck drop is 6 pm CT.
LATE HITS: Maurice says the Jets will go with the same line-up that picked up two points at Joe Louis Arena, but added injured players Tyler Myers (who participated in today's pre-game skate), Mathieu Perreault, and Mark Stuart are progressing well.
"Those three are very close," Maurice said. "None of them will play tonight. But they're all day-to-day, and hopeful for availability for Dallas."
- Mitchell Clinton, WinnipegJets.com
JETS GAME NOTES
The Winnipeg Jets conclude a three-game road trip tonight against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden…The Jets overcame another third period deficit Friday night to beat the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 in Winnipeg's final regular season game at Joe Louis Arena…Brandon Tanev had a pair of third period goals Friday night, while Nikolaj Ehlers (1g, 3a), Mark Scheifele (1g, 2a) and Patrik Laine (1g, 1a) also had multi-point games…The Jets return home Tuesday to take on the Dallas Stars at MTS Centre in a brief one-game homestand.
The Jets play 16 games in 29 days during November, including 10 on the road…During each of the next three weekends Winnipeg will play three games in four nights and four games in seven nights to end the month…The Jets don't have back-to-back days off again until Nov. 21-22.
Down, But Not Out
The Jets have come back to win when trailing going into the third period three times this season, including Friday's win in Detroit when they trailed 2-1 after 40 minutes, and have come back from three three-goal deficits (2-0-1)…Winnipeg is tied with the Vancouver Canucks for first in the NHL by winning three games and earning points in four games in which they were trailing going into the third period…The Jets also tied with the Canucks for first in the NHL by trailing going into the third period in 10 games this season…Winnipeg has led going into the third period twice this year, both of which were wins - Oct. 27 vs DAL (4-1 W) and Oct. 28 at COL (1-0 W).
All Kinds of Shots
The Jets are third in the league with 371 shots for an average of 30.9 per game, which is ninth in the NHL…Winnipeg leads the NHL with 215 wrist shots and 13 deflected shots…The Jets have missed the net with a shot attempt 131 times this season, which is 10th in the NHL…The Jets are one of five teams in the NHL to score a wraparound goal this season, which was scored by Joel Armia on Oct. 25 at DAL.
After starting the season with a healthy lineup, the Jets have seven players on their injured list, including four players on the injured reserve - Bryan Little, Drew Stafford, Tyler Myers and Shawn Matthias …None of the players injured this season have returned to action…Of the 28 man games lost to injury for the Jets this season, 12 have come in the last two games.
- Winnipeg has allowed at least three goals in 10 of their 12 games, but have scored four or more goals in four of their five wins.
- Winnipeg is 15-for-16 (93.8%) on the penalty kill in its last five games.
- Tonight is the last of five consecutive games for the Jets against Eastern Conference opponents…The Jets are 3-3-1 against Eastern teams this season.
- Winnipeg is outscoring its opposition 21-9 in third periods and overtime, but have been outscored 17-4 in second periods this season…The four second period goals is the lowest in the NHL.
- The Jets scored four goals in the third period on Friday, which is the most they have scored in a period this season.