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game recap

Trouba, Panarin help Rangers top Jets in debut

Defenseman has three points against former team, Howden breaks tie in third period

by Dan Rosen @drosennhl / Senior Writer

Panarin scores in Rangers debut

WPG@NYR: Panarin nets PPG in first game with Rangers

Artemi Panarin scores on the power play in his Rangers debut to give his new club a 2-1 lead early in the 2nd period

  • 01:02 •

NEW YORK -- Jacob Trouba had three points against his former team, and Artemi Panarin had a goal and an assist in the New York Rangers debut for both, a 6-4 win against the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on Thursday.

It was the season opener for each team.

Trouba had a goal and two assists. Panarin had a goal and an assist.


[WATCH: All Jets vs. Rangers highlights]


The Rangers acquired Trouba in a trade with the Jets on June 17. They signed Panarin to a seven-year contract July 1.

"You think about [the first game] for so long building up to the season, and preseason games just don't really do it, they're not the same thing," Trouba said. "Just getting it over with and kind of getting past it and being able to move on and start thinking about the rest of the games and getting your game to where you want to be is nice."

Video: WPG@NYR: Trouba scores against old club

Brett Howden scored the game-winner with 4:09 remaining in the third period. Mika Zibanejad tied a single-game NHL career high with four points (goal, three assists), and Marc Staal and Brendan Smith scored for the Rangers.

Henrik Lundqvist made 43 saves and became the sixth goalie in NHL history to reach 450 wins. 

"That certainly wasn't a Picasso, that's for sure," Rangers coach David Quinn said, "but we found a way to win and at the end of the day that's all that matters."

Video: WPG@NYR: Howden puts Rangers ahead late in the 3rd

Blake Wheeler scored two goals, Kyle Connor and Mark Scheifele each had one, and Nikolaj Ehlers had three assists for the Jets. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves. 

"I liked a lot of my game, I felt like I earned better," Hellebuyck said. "I felt like I played a lot better than five goals against. I don't know, it just seemed like the puck was always in the wrong spot for me tonight. If I look back at the tape, I probably wouldn't do a whole lot different, but I've got to do something because five is unacceptable."

Howden made it 5-4 by getting to the net after a face-off win and scoring on a backhand from the slot off a rebound of Jesper Fast's shot from the left face-off circle. 

"It's the way we're going to have to score goals and the way we're going to have to play," Quinn said of Howden's goal. "Certainly, we didn't do enough of it tonight, but it was good to see us get a goal in that fashion from somebody other than our top line."

Smith scored into an empty net shorthanded to make it 6-4 with 17 seconds left.

Connor gave the Jets a 4-3 lead with a power-play goal at 2:41 of the third. 

Video: WPG@NYR: Connor deflects shot for PPG

Zibanejad scored on a breakaway set up by Trouba at 5:04 to tie the game at 4-4. He had assists on the goals by Staal, Panarin and Smith.

"He did everything for us tonight," Quinn said.

Staal gave New York a 1-0 lead at 11:35 of the first period on a wraparound. Scheifele tied it 1-1 at 17:23 with a shot from the slot that went in off Lundqvist's left shoulder.

Panarin scored on the power play from the left circle at 27 seconds of the second period to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. Wheeler scored his first goal 30 seconds later to make it 2-2.

Trouba scored from the point to make it 3-2 at 6:03. Wheeler answered again nine seconds later to make it 3-3.

Video: WPG@NYR: Wheeler snaps home second goal


They said it

"There's lots of real good stuff and the style of offensive game too, I didn't feel we cheated for it. We actually generated a lot of our offense by reloading and getting back above pucks and turning pucks back in on them, so that part was really good. We gave up five, though. I know there were six, but we gave up five, so you can't be bragging about that game either." -- Jets coach Paul Maurice

"It was really important for me to score this goal. The first game was intense and a little bit, you know, all over the place. So I'm just really happy I was able to do it." -- Rangers forward Artemi Panarin


Need to know

Rangers forward Kaapo Kakko, the No. 2 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, had three shots on goal and four shot attempts playing 15:31. … Jets defenseman Ville Heinola, selected in the first round (No. 20) of the 2019 draft, had an assist and played 18:24. … New York defenseman Adam Fox had a blocked shot and played 12:24 in his NHL debut. … Winnipeg defenseman Neal Pionk, acquired in the Trouba trade, had four hits, two shots and two blocked shots in 23:13. … Lundqvist started the Rangers season opener for the 14th consecutive season, becoming the second goalie in NHL history to start at least that many in a row with the same team (Martin Brodeur, 18, New Jersey Devils). He trails Curtis Joseph by four for fifth place on the wins list.


What's next

Jets: At the New Jersey Devils on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, TSN3, NHL.TV)

Rangers: At the Ottawa Senators on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CITY, MSG, NHL.TV)

Video: Rangers top Jets in season opener

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