The New York Rangers officially will not go 82-0-0 this season, and you can blame the Winnipeg Jets for that. The Blueshirts, playing their third game in four days and in the second game of a back-to-back, were defeated by a score of 4-1.
New York had a tough time getting things going, and they very much looked like a team that played the previous night, as a fresh and rested Winnipeg squad was able to control the pace for the first 20:00. As bad as things were for the 1st, the Rangers turned a corner in the 2nd period and Dryden Hunt scored at 3:55 to tie things up a goal a piece.
Mark Scheifele scored his first goal of the game at 10:29 of the first, and it was his second goal of the game, at 18:23 on the power play in the final period which all but put things out of reach. Minutes before that, Sam Gagner scored his first goal of the season, and Kyle Connor wrapped things up with an empty netter with seconds left in the final period.
The game was a battle of special teams, and the Rangers were unable to solve Connor Hellebuyck during their two power play attempts, and part of the reason was the fact they only put six shots on goal while skating with the man-advantage.
It is understandable why things unfolded the way they did, but the power play wasn’t as sharp as it was vs. Minnesota, as there were elements of overpassing and numerous attempts which missed the net.
Winnipeg, however, went one for three with the man advantage with the striking blow aforementioned coming towards the end of the game. To their credit, the Rangers’ penalty kill unit limited the Jets to four shots on the power play, but the late goal to make it 3-1 prior to Connor’s empty netter put the Rangers in a position where mounting a comeback was unlikely.
Jaroslav Halak was very good in his Rangers regular season debut stopping 30 of 33 shots he faced, and looking very calm under pressure especially in the first and last period. The Rangers are off on Saturday and Sunday, and will be in action on Monday vs. Ryan Strome, Frank Vatrano, and the Anaheim Ducks.