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Rangers hope to bounce back in Winnipeg

by Brian Compton
RANGERS (2-2-2) at JETS (2-4-1)


Season Series: This is the first of four meetings between the teams. The Atlanta Thrashers won three of the four showdowns last season, including a 3-0 decision at Madison Square Garden on April 7.

Big Story: Will Henrik Lundqvist be ready to play? The Rangers' world-class goaltender was forced to leave Saturday's 2-0 loss at Edmonton due to pain in his left foot. Including the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Lundqvist has started each of the Rangers' last 37 games. He has a 1.82 goals-against average and .942 save percentage in New York's first six contests this season.

"It's all taken care of," Lundqvist told the New York Post after skating with the Rangers on Sunday. "I'm on my second pair of skates this season, I changed them after we came back from Europe, and there was just a problem there that built up a little bit.

"By the third period, I was thinking so much about my foot, my skate and the pain that I just couldn't focus on the puck, and if I'm not doing that I can't play my game, so that's why I came out."

Team Scope:

Rangers: It started it's four-game Western swing with impressive back-to-back wins at Vancouver and Calgary, but New York struggled mightily in Edmonton on Saturday night. The Rangers mustered only 14 shots on goal and barely tested Nikolai Khabibulin, who was credited with the shutout.

"We (stunk) from head to toe," said Rangers coach John Tortorella, who declined to take questions from the media after the loss. "We need to move by it."

Jets: Winnipeg managed to bounce back from Thursday's 4-1 loss at Ottawa with a 5-3 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes at the MTS Centre. Ondrej Pavalec struggled and was pulled in favor of Chris Mason, who calmed things down and stopped 18 of 19 shots. Jim Slater, Andrew Ladd and Evander all scored in the second period to help the Jets pull away.

"I thought we did a really nice job," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. "There was a real urgency to win the game, which is what we needed to win the game."

Who's Hot: Rangers winger Marian Gaborik has 4 goals in six games, while newcomer Brad Richards has a goal and 4 assists. … Jets center Alexander Burmistrov, a second-year pro, has 6 points (2 goals, 4 assists) and a plus-3 rating in seven games.

Injury Report: New York is expected to be without Marc Staal (concussion), Michael Sauer (shoulder) and Wojtek Wolski (groin). Mike Rupp (knee) left Sunday's practice and is questionable. … Ron Hainsey (upper body), Eric Fehr (shoulder), Aaron Gagnon (undisclosed) and Kenndal McArdle (foot) will likely all be out for Winnipeg.

Stat Pack: This marks the Rangers' first trip to Winnipeg since Nov. 17, 1995, when the Jets earned a 6-3 victory. … The Jets are 0-4-1 when they allow a power-play goal and 2-0-0 when they do not.

Puck Drop: "He is going to be an impact player in junior, and with that comes the pressures of leading a team, and the expectations of producing all the time. Those are the kinds of things that when he becomes a National Hockey League player, things like that are going to be his responsibility all the time." -- Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff on returning Mark Scheifele to the OHL

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