WINNIPEG, Manitoba-- The Winnipeg Jets
seized sole possession of eighth place in the NHL's Eastern Conference with a 3-1 victory over the New York Rangers
on Thursday night at MTS Centre.
Both clubs came into the game with 28 points, but the Jets improved to 14-11-2 to vault in front. New York fell to 13-11-2.
The Jets, 7-3-1 over their last 11 games, are also a point back of the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes. Nik Antropov
, Antti Miettinen
and Andrew Ladd scored for Winnipeg, while blueliner Dustin Byfuglien
had a pair of assists.
Ryan Callahan had the only goal of the game for the Rangers, who had three first-period breakaways -- including a penalty shot by Marian Gaborik
-- but were stopped each time by Ondrej Pavelec
. He made 28 saves.
Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 31 shots, including an Evander Kane
breakaway with three minutes left to keep his club within striking distance.
The Jets led 1-0 and 2-1 at the period breaks.
On the game's very first shift, 6-foot-5, 265-pound Byfuglien laid a crushing open-ice hit on Rangers' centre Derek Stepan that sent the sellout crowd into a frenzy.
The Jets went on the power-play just over a minute later when Michael Del Zotto took a penalty for cross-checking, and Antropov banged in a rebound 12 seconds later off a Byfuglien point blast for his third goal of the season.
The Jets were outshooting the Rangers 11-2 through 11 minutes, but it was a pair of saves by Pavelec on not one but two straight breakaways by Gaborik that proved most memorable through the opening 20 minutes.
Pavelec made a pad save on first one but Gaborik was awarded a penalty shot after Zach Bogosian hooked him as he got the shot away. On the penalty shot, Gaborik tried a deke, only to be denied again by Pavelec.
Four minutes later, Rick Nash slid behind the Jets defense but fired wide on the Rangers' third breakaway of the period.
A sloppy start in the second period by the Jets led directly to a goal by Callahan, who deflected a Gaborik shot past Pavelec for his ninth of the year at the 1:11.
The Jets regained the one-goal lead when Byfuglien's wrist shot from the point bounded off the hip of Miettinen and fell behind Lundqvist at 14:52.
The goal was the first of the year for Miettinen, playing his seventh game of an injury-plagued season.
Ladd scored into an empty net with just 39 seconds left for his 14th goal of the year.
NOTES: The Jets hadn't surrendered a goal in 25 straight shorthanded situations entering Thursday's game. The streak stretched over nine consecutive contests. ... Winnipeg left-winger Evander Kane led the NHL in shots on goal with 116 coming into the game. ... Jets' forward Alex Burmistrov was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. Goalie Al Montoya aggravated a lower-body injury in practice and didn't dress. The Jets recalled Eddie Pasquale from the St. John's IceCaps to serve as the backup to Ondrej Pavelec. ... Rangers center entered the game three points shy of 800 for his NHL career. ... Last season, the Rangers weren't kind to the Jets, winning all four games. ... Rick Nash led the Rangers with nine goals this season coming into the game, with eight of those coming in third periods. ... Defensemen Stu Bickel and Matt Gilroy did not dress for New York.
- Sports & Recreation
- Ice Hockey
- New York Rangers
- Winnipeg Jets
- Marian Gaborik
- Ondrej Pavelec