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Jets at Rangers preview

Mason returns for Winnipeg; New York aims for fourth straight win

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

JETS (39-17-9) at RANGERS (30-30-6)

7 p.m. ET; MSG+2, TSN3, NHL.TV


The Game

Goalie Steve Mason will make his first start in 21 games when the Winnipeg Jets visit the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

Mason, who hasn't played since Jan. 9 because of a concussion, is 3-6-1 with a 3.52 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.

The Jets, who have won two straight and seven of nine, are six points behind the Nashville Predators for first place in the Central Division.

The Rangers are trying for their fourth straight win, something they haven't done since Nov. 19-26. New York is five points behind the Columbus Blue Jackets for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.


Players to watch

Jets forward Patrik Laine has four goals in his past two games and 10 goals in his past eight.

Rangers wing Ryan Spooner has seven points (goal, six assists) in four games since he was traded to New York by the Boston Bruins on Feb. 25.


They said it

"Any time you play a team that has lost some key pieces, it's an opportunity for other guys to step up. ... It's something that we have been through in the past, the last couple of years, so they could be dangerous. We're prepared for a tough one here." -- Jets forward Blake Wheeler

"Obviously we are trying to tighten up a couple of areas defensively here. We're trying to keep shots (against) below 50 and it will be a good one. They're working real hard and that's what you want from your players." -- Rangers coach Alain Vigneault after New York allowed 55 and 51 shots on goal in its past two games.


Jets projected lineup

Kyle Connor -- Mark Scheifele -- Blake Wheeler

Mathieu Perreault -- Bryan Little -- Jack Roslovic

Nikolaj Ehlers -- Paul Stastny -- Patrik Laine

Matt Hendricks -- Andrew Copp -- Joel Armia

Josh Morrissey -- Dustin Byfuglien

Dmitry Kulikov -- Tyler Myers

Joe Morrow -- Ben Chiarot

Steve Mason

Connor Hellebuyck

Scratched: Marko Dano

Injured: Shawn Matthias (upper body), Jacob Trouba (lower body), Adam Lowry (upper body), Brandon Tanev (upper body), Toby Enstrom (lower body)


Rangers projected lineup

Chris Kreider -- David Desharnais -- Pavel Buchnevich

Jimmy Vesey -- Vladislav Namestnikov -- Mats Zuccarello

Ryan Spooner -- Kevin Hayes -- Jesper Fast

Paul Carey -- Peter Holland -- Cody McLeod

Marc Staal -- Neal Pionk

Rob O'Gara -- Tony DeAngelo

Brady Skjei -- John Gilmour

Henrik Lundqvist

Alexandar Georgiev

Scratched: None

Injured: Mika Zibanejad (flu) Ondrej Pavelec (knee), Kevin Shattenkirk (knee), Steven Kampfer (hand)


Status report

Goalie Michael Hutchinson was sent to Manitoba of the American Hockey League on Monday to make room for Mason. ... Enstrom will be a game-time decision after missing the past three games. ... Zibanejad won't play and will be replaced by Desharnais. ... Tuesday was the first day Shattenkirk, who has missed 20 games, skated with the Rangers. Vigneault said he could play in the next couple of weeks.


Stat pack

Lundqvist has made 50 saves in each of his past two starts. ... The Jets have lost three straight games to the Rangers while being outscored 10-4.

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