Coming off of an impressive three game winning streak during their Western Canada road trip, the New York Rangers looked to build on that momentum tonight at Madison Square Garden. Unfortunately, their recent string of success came to an abrupt halt as the Winnipeg Jets topped the Rangers 3-0 this evening at Madison Square Garden.
The Winnipeg Jets have been playing extremely well this season, and that was on full display during the first period of this game. They skated circles around the Rangers during the first half of the period, and as a result, led in shots to the tune of 16-9 through 20 minutes of play. The Jets’ strong play eventually paid off with less than a minute left in the first period with Patrik Laine picking up the first goal of the evening.
Laine walked down the left side of the ice completely uncontested and absolutely smoked a wrist shot past Henrik Lundqvist on the glove side. After nearly sleepwalking through the first period of hockey, the Rangers woke up a bit in the second period and had two glorious chances in front of goaltender Steve Mason. The first came from Jesper Fast who absolutely skied a shot with a wide open shot, followed by Mats Zuccarello putting one back into Mason with a wide open net.
In Zuccarello’s defense, there was pressure coming from the defenseman so he had a mere millisecond to release the shot and put it right back into the pads. Those two missed opportunities would come back to haunt the Rangers at the 11:01 mark with Patrik Laine picking up his second goal of the night. Much like the first goal, Laine walked uncontested into the high slot and snapped a quick shot past Lundqvist on the blocker hand.
When Laine gets that amount of space with his lethal shot, it’s pretty much a guaranteed goal every time. Looking to extend their three game winning streak, the Rangers needed to dig deep in the third period to revert their mistakes that resulted in two goals against. However, with the Jets holding onto a pretty secure 2-0 lead they completely clamped down defensively in the third period and the Rangers could seem to break the hold.
The Jets were able to hold the Rangers in check throughout the entire third period, and Patrik Laine eventually iced the game with less than a minute remaining. The goal capped off his fourth career hat trick and led the Jets to a 3-0 victory. Following tonight’s short stop at home, the Rangers will be right back on the road with the Tampa Bay Lightning coming up on Thursday night.