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Jets continue road trip against Rangers

by Eric Goodman

JETS (12-12-4) at RANGERS (14-13-0)


Last 10: Winnipeg 5-3-2; New York 5-5-0

Season series: This is the first of two games. The Winnipeg Jets were 2-1-0 against the New York Rangers in 2012-13 and split two games at Madison Square Garden.

Big story: The Rangers will give rookie goalie Cam Talbot his second career and second consecutive start at Madison Square Garden after he beat the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday. Jets left wing Evander Kane (lower-body injury) hasn't practiced since leaving the game Saturday against the Philadelphia Flyers. He remains day-to-day and coach Claude Noel ruled him out for Monday.

Team Scope:

Jets: Noel shook things up Saturday by holding practice at an outdoor rink in New York's Central Park, but it was back to business Sunday with a traditional indoor session. While the players took in the unique views while skating outside with the New York City skyline in the background, the back-to-back practices were much needed as the Jets tried to straighten out following a 2-1 loss at the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday. Winnipeg had two shots in the first period and was 0-for-6 on the power play.

Monday is the fourth of a six-game road trip for the Jets; they are 2-1-0.

"It’s nice to have a day like this to forget about everything for a day and just have some fun on the ice," captain Andrew Ladd said of the outdoor practice.

Rangers: New York reaches the one-third mark of its schedule Monday and, so far, the theme for this season has been inconsistency. The Rangers have achieved a three-game winning streak just twice and are 1-3-0 in their past four home games. Coach Alain Vigneault will look to build upon the performance Saturday in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks and former Rangers coach John Tortorella. Talbot improved to 6-1-0 with 35 saves. Another rookie, Chris Kreider, had the first hat trick of his NHL career.

With 10 of their 11 games before Christmas at MSG, the Rangers hope to get the same kind of fan support they had Saturday, when the sellout crowd was revved up from the opening faceoff. New York visits the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday but returns to MSG for a season-long nine-game homestand that begins Saturday against the New Jersey Devils.

"The crowd went crazy as soon as Kreider buried that first one," Talbot said of Kreider's first goal in the opening period. "They're our seventh man. We feed off their energy."

Talbot again gets the start in goal Monday.

Who's hot: Bryan Little has seven points (one goal, six assists) in the past seven games for Winnipeg. ... Kreider has three goals and an assist in his past three games for the Rangers.

Injury report: Kane is out for the Jets. Defenseman Tobias Enstrom (maintenance) skated in a portion of the full team practice. Defenseman Paul Postma (blood clot) and forward Jim Slater (sports hernia surgery) are out indefinitely. Defenseman Zach Bogosian (groin) is on injured reserve. ... The Rangers report no injuries.

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