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Offense Continues to Roll in Fifth Straight Win

Five Different Rangers Score in Win Over Winnipeg

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia / NYRangers.com

The Rangers knew they were deep up front, but it's hard to imagine anyone envisioned the offensive power the team would possess.

That depth was on display again Sunday night when the Rangers topped the Winnipeg Jets, 5-2, at Madison Square Garden. It was the team's fifth straight win with the team scoring at least five goals in each contest.

This streak marks the first time since a nine-game stretch December 1978 to January 1979 that the Rangers scored five goals in at least five consecutive games.

Video: WPG@NYR: Hayes buries a one-timer through traffic

New York was finishing up a back-to-back set, and head coach Alain Vigneault said despite the team's less-than-perfect performance, he'll take the two points and not ask questions.

 "I would say tonight is a good night to use 'never critique a win,'" Vigneault said. "Take the win. It was our fifth game in eight nights, fourth game in six nights."

Unlike Saturday night in Boston, the Rangers struck first on Kevin Hayes' sixth of the season just 2:12 into the game. Brady Skjei picked up the secondary assist to extend his assist/point streak to five games, tying him with Brian Leetch for the most by a Rangers rookie. Skjei is also tied for the most assists by a rookie this season with eight.

The Blueshirts erupted for four goals in the middle period, starting with Mats Zuccarello who completed a three-on-one break to put the Rangers up 2-1. 

Video: WPG@NYR: Zuccarello labels top corner to finish rush

J.T. Miller broke a 2-2 tie less than three minutes later with his fifth of the season, which was followed by Jesper Fast's second when he got a piece of a Kevin Klein blast from the point that put the Rangers up a pair.

Pavel Buchnevich capped the outburst with a highlight reel tally to give him his second goal in as many nights.

Video: WPG@NYR: Buchnevich shows off hands and scores

"It should on the highlights," Vigneault said of the rookie's tally in the second period.

All told, five different Rangers scored goals for the second time in as many nights, while 11 had at least a point. The team continues to get contributions throughout the lineup on a nightly basis, and it's apparant the opposition is struggling to contain it.

"It's pretty impressive. I'd be lying if i siad you've seen five games in a row score five goals," said Brandon Pirri, who picked up a pair of assists. "Everyone is contributing and that's what's important. It's a tough matchup for other teams. The next line coming over the boards is just as capable offensively as the one before that."

Henrik Lundqvist picked up his fourth straight win, making 24 saves.

Patrik Laine and Mark Scheifele scored for Winnipeg.

The early offensive punch has even taken the players by surprise, and scoring this much on a nightly basis is a tall order over an 82-game season. But, according to Miller, the depth the team has will make finding ways to win on a consistent basis that much easier.

"You're not (expecting) to score five goals every night. That's a lot of goals against the goaltending talent in the league and how good the teams are," Miller said. "At the same time, if we can keep four lines going and out-change the other team and play with speed on every line, it's hard to stop. The whole team is contributing right now and that's one of the biggest things, is if we can get every line and the (defense) to contribute, that's when you're going to get your production."

 

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