Skip to main content

Rangers visit Jets in search of first win on trip

by Mike Battaglino

RANGERS (35-28-4) at JETS (30-28-9)


Last 10: New York 4-5-1; Winnipeg 3-3-4

Season series: The Winnipeg Jets defeated the New York Rangers 5-2 at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 2. Olli Jokinen scored twice for the Jets.

Big story: The Rangers have started their three-game road trip with two losses, including 2-1 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday. New York has one goal in each of the two games.

"We just need to find a way to score goals," forward Derick Brassard told MSG Network. "I think with the group of forwards that we have and everything, we just need to find a way to put the puck in the net. We're going to face a team [that's] desperate to make the playoffs ... so it's not going to be easy, especially in that building.

"We saw in the standings, it's pretty close, every night is big games for everyone. Tomorrow we just need to turn the page with this one and go back tomorrow and play a good game."

Team Scope:

Rangers: New York lost four times in 15 games leading into the break for the 2014 Sochi Olympics (11-4-0). It has lost five times in eight games since NHL play resumed (3-4-1), averaging 2.25 goals per game, including a 3-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

"I'm not sensing a scoring slump; obviously, we're not scoring a lot of goals 5-on-5 here," coach Alain Vigneault said. "I thought our effort was better [Thursday], our execution was a little bit better, but we need to finish more."

Forward Martin St. Louis has one assist in five games since arriving in a trade from the Tampa Bay Lightning on March 5.

"Oh, he's pressing," Vigneault said. "New environment, you know he wants to do well; he's putting a lot of pressure on himself. And he's got to work his way through it; he will."

Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will be back in net after Cam Talbot played against the Wild, his first game since Feb. 27. Lundqvist allowed 18 goals over six straight March starts.

Jets: Winnipeg has lost five in a row (0-2-3) since winning its first two games out of the Olympic break. The Jets are five points behind the Dallas Stars for the second Western Conference wild-card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the Stars have two games in hand.

"If this is rock bottom, it certainly isn't any reason to go jumping off a cliff," forward Blake Wheeler told the Jets website Thursday. "I think our game's better than the results have been. I think that's a positive that you can take from this. Certainly, we're at the point of the year where it's all about getting results, but I think the way we've played, especially over the last few games, has been an improvement. Just keep building on that and the results will follow; they always seem to."

Winnipeg outshot four of its five opponents during the losing streak. The Jets led the Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks before losing in overtime then a shootout Monday and Wednesday.

"You can look at it two ways," defenseman Zach Bogosian said. "I think it's frustrating that we're not capitalizing on those chances, but … it's nice we are getting those chances. So we just have to keep shooting the puck, and those things are bound to go in the back of the net for us."

Who's hot: Rangers forward Derek Stepan has 10 points (two goals) in his past eight games. Defenseman Ryan McDonagh has six points (three goals) in his past six. … Jets forward Bryan Little has four points (one goal) in his past three games, giving him a career-high 53 points for a season.

Injury report: The Rangers report no injuries. … Jets forwards Mark Scheifele (knee) and James Wright (ankle) and defenseman Grant Clitsome (back) are out.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.