Jets look to continue road success vs. slumping Rangers
The Jets will look to lock up a winning record on their Eastern Conference road trip Sunday night when they visit the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Both teams will be playing the second game of a back-to-back set. The Jets squandered a two-goal lead in the final five minutes of regulation before Mark Scheifele scored his second goal of the night 16.3 seconds left in overtime to lift Winnipeg past the host New Jersey Devils 4-3. The visiting Rangers traveled home immediately after falling to the Montreal Canadiens 5-2.
The chaotic victory could provide more momentum for the Jets (15-8-2), who have won two straight and three of their last four. Winnipeg went up 3-1 on goals by Josh Morrissey and Andrew Copp within a three-minute span just beyond the midway point of the third period before Jesper Bratt and Taylor Hall tied the score for the Devils.
“Lots of emotion on our bench,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said after the win. “They overcame a lot of obstacles. I really liked the way we played in the third. I thought that was our best period.”
At this point, the Rangers (13-12-2) are just looking to enjoy one good period as they try to snap out of a slump that threatens to undo the progress they made during a surprising first month of the season.
New York has lost four of five, a stretch in which it has been outscored 19-9, suffered two shutout defeats and blown a two-goal lead to the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals in another loss. On Saturday, the Rangers fell behind 4-0 fewer than six minutes into the second period.
“We’re not in the greatest mindset right now,” Rangers rookie coach David Quinn told reporters after Saturday’s game. “We’re not playing with a lot of confidence, and for good reason.”
Hellebuyck last started Thursday when he had 26 saves as the Jets defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5. Lundqvist also hasn’t played since Thursday when he made 31 saves in the Rangers’ 3-0 loss to the Ottawa Senators.
Hellebuyck is 1-2-0 in three career appearances against the Rangers. Lundqvist is 14-10-7 in 32 games against the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise.
Winnipeg concludes its road trip Tuesday when it visits the New York Islanders as Barclays Center. The game against the Jets is the final one before the “bye week” for the Rangers, who aren’t scheduled to play again until visiting the Florida Panthers next Saturday night.