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Rangers look for more against Jets

by Brian Compton
JETS (5-6-2) at RANGERS (6-3-3)


Last 10: Winnipeg 5-3-2; New York 6-3-1.

Season Series: This is the second of four meetings between the teams. The Rangers beat the Jets by a 2-1 score at the MTS Centre on Oct. 24 behind a 27-save performance from Martin Biron.

Big Story: New York has played without its top defenseman, Marc Staal, since the start of the season and will be without him for the foreseeable future. But the Rangers are still finding ways to win games, as they enter Sunday's action with points in 7 of their last 10 games.

"Looking at our last three games, if you look at the intensity, the speed, it definitely helped us being here for a little bit," said goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, who made 25 saves in Saturday's 5-3 win against Montreal at Madison Square Garden. "We've been practicing and getting rest. We knew, especially the first game coming back, would be tough. But we responded well the last couple games."

Team Scope:

Jets: They couldn't manage a victory Saturday night, but the Jets did rally from a 2-0 deficit and forced overtime before Adam Henrique scored in a 3-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center. Winnipeg is 2-0-1 in its last three games and has earned 7 of a possible 10 points during its seven-game road trip.

"You have to be happy that you're having a little bit of success and continue to get back in the games," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "We need production from some other guys, but right now we'll take the points as we can get them."

Rangers: New York has a quick start to thank for its latest victory, as the Blueshirts jumped out to a 3-0 lead against the Canadiens during the first period Saturday night. Erik Christensen got things going with a power-play goal just 4:50 into the game before Dan Girardi and Michael Del Zotto found the back of the net later in the period to give New York a three-goal cushion. Christensen's goal was New York's lone power-play tally despite being awarded nine opportunities.

"Sometimes it goes against you when you have that many power plays piled up on you, it's not the same rhythm of the game," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "You'd like to score more, but it created some momentum. We probably got that three-goal lead because of all the power plays and pressure. Their guys were worn out."

Who's Hot: Jets forward Nik Antropov leads the club with 11 points (3 goals, 8 assists) in 12 games. … Rangers center Artem Anisimov has 4 points in his last five games.

Injury Report: Winnipeg is expected to be without Tobias Enstrom (broken collarbone), Mark Stuart (upper body), Chris Mason (groin), Derek Meech (lower body), Ron Hainsey (upper body) and Eric Fehr (shoulder). … The Rangers will be without Staal (concussion), Mike Rupp (knee) and Wojtek Wolski (groin).

Stat Pack: Saturday's win was John Tortorella's 100th behind the Rangers' bench. He replaced Tom Renney in February of 2009.

Puck Drop: "You can see the chemistry the team has. We're all sticking up for each other. I know we are all happy to be back with our fans on our side to add some energy and some emotion." -- Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto
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