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Kane stays hot as Jets defeat Rangers in New York

The SportsXchange

NEW YORK -- The Winnipeg Jets have been full of answers instead of questions on their recent road trip and they capped it by confidently responding whenever the New York Rangers challenged them on Tuesday night.

Evander Kane had two goals and an assist and Olli Jokinen scored two goals as the Jets topped the New York Rangers 4-3 at Madison Square Garden, in a game that featured some frenzied back-and-forth scoring. The goals gave Kane five in a four-game goal-scoring streak. He's also scored points in his last eight games.

Anthony Peluso and Ron Hainsey added two assists each for Winnipeg (9-9-1), which finished its road trip 4-1 and jumped ahead of the Rangers (8-8-2) in the Eastern Conference.

"We know where they are in the standings and we know where we are in the standings," Jets coach Claude Noel said. "... If we can put somebody behind us, we want to take the opportunity to do that."

Ryan Callahan, Taylor Pyatt and Anton Stralman scored for the banged-up Rangers, who lost their fourth straight game without injured forward Rick Nash.

Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves for Winnipeg, including some big ones after the Rangers rallied with two goals in the third and threatened in the final minutes. Henrik Lundqvist made 28 stops for New York, which combined with Winnipeg to produce three goals in 1:13 in the wild third.

Trailing 3-1 in the third and getting outshot 26-19 at that point, the Rangers cut the deficit to a goal at the 9:17 mark of the third. Pyatt deflected Stralman's slap shot, past Pavelec. But before the goal had even been announced, Winnipeg went up 4-2 40 seconds later, on a wrist shot by Kane to stun Lundqvist and the Rangers.

"I've gone over it a couple of times and I've tried to find out a reason for why," Lundqvist said. "(Maybe) I picked it up a little late. It doesn't matter. I need to stop it. For whatever reason, it squeezed through my pad and my glove. It's a tough one, it really is."

Tough as it was, the Rangers came right back 27 seconds later to make it 4-3. Stralman zipped in a goal just in the right post as Pavelec was caught going to his right after deflecting a previous shot.

New York had several scoring chances after that, but Pavelec turned them away -- including a pair of slap shots by Stralman and a flurry in the final minute. The Jets' penalty killing unit also did its job when Jim Slater was called for holding with 6:09 left in the game.

"There's a lot of highs and lows -- they scored, we scored," Jokinen said. "And we were able to shut them down the last few minutes."

After a scoreless first period, the Jets scored two goals nearly a minute apart and quickly answered when the Rangers finally got on the board.

The Jets had left Lundqvist reeling with a flurry of shots before Kane fed Jokinen from behind the net as Winnipeg took a 1-0 lead at the 5:55 mark of the second.

Sixty-seven seconds later, Kane scored himself, knocking in a wrist shot for a 2-0 lead, with an assist from Peluso.

Callahan, who had sparked the Rangers a few minutes earlier by blocking two shots after losing his stick, brought New York back into the game. He poked in a rebound after the puck had rolled along the goal line behind Pavelec. That made it 2-1 at the 9:28 mark of the second, but Winnipeg quickly squashed any momentum for the Rangers.

The Jets pressured the Rangers in their defensive zone, eventually pouncing on the puck. Winnipeg scored nearly immediately after doing so as Jokinen put in his second goal, knocking in the rebound when Peluso's shot deflected off Lundqvist, to give the Jets a 3-1 lead at the 14:48 mark of the second.

The Rangers played much more aggressively in the third period, but Winnipeg was able to answer before finally heading home while leaving the Rangers hoping they were on their way to halting their own questions.

"I think that if we get some people back and we have that type of effort, some of the things that we do correctly, I think we'll get on our way," Rangers coach John Tortorella said.

NOTES: Nash participated in the morning skate, but, amid speculation that he might have a concussion, the forward did not offer a direct answer to a question on whether he had one. "Um, I'm not a doctor. It's tough for me to analyze that," he told reporters. "It wasn't something where I could look at myself and say I had that issue. That's up for the doctors to decide." Nash said he was "banged up" and it was a combination of several things that was keeping him out. ... Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh was also out with an undisclosed injury, while defenseman Michael Del Zotto sat with a lower body injury and Arron Asham was out due to back spasms. Center Darroll Powe returned after missing three games with a concussion. ... Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien returned to the lineup, after leaving Sunday's game against the New Jersey Devils in the third period, due to a lower-body injury. ... Winnipeg forward Antti Miettinen, who sustained a lower-body injury blocking a shot less than 20 seconds into his season debut Sunday, was out of the lineup and listed as day to day. ... The Rangers announced Tuesday their AHL affiliate, the Connecticut Whale, would continue playing in the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., through at least 2016, with an option to extend the pact another two years.
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