The Winnipeg Jets are coming off their best offensive performance of the season. They’ll next try to take advantage of a team that just endured its worst.
The New York Rangers look to bounce back from a lackluster shutout loss when they conclude their lengthy season-opening road trip Monday night.
Winnipeg (2-4-1) scored five straight goals in a 15-minute span of the first and second periods after quickly falling behind 2-0 Saturday against Carolina, finishing with a 5-3 victory. The Jets had totaled 11 goals over their first six games, scoring just once three different times.
Chris Mason(notes) held onto the lead Saturday by making 11 of his 18 saves in the third period. Mason earned his first win of the season after replacing Ondrej Pavelec(notes) in the first period, helping to keep the Hurricanes 0 for 7 on the power play.
Winnipeg’s opponents were 6 for 23 with the man advantage in the previous six games.
“We were tired of scoring just one goal and giving up goals on the penalty kill,” defenseman Mark Stuart(notes) said. “We showed that we can score and can come back on teams. That’s good going forward, but it’s one game. It’s a good start, but in this league, if you want to be successful you’ve got to be consistent.”
The Jets franchise has been consistently successful against the Rangers lately, going 8-1-1 in the last 10 matchups. Atlanta was 3-0-1 during last season’s series, and Pavelec recorded a shutout at Madison Square Garden on April 7.
After scoring a combined seven goals over consecutive victories, New York was blanked again Saturday at Edmonton. The Rangers (2-2-2) were outshot 27-19 during that 2-0 defeat and went 0 for 5 on the power play, making them a league-worst 1 for 23 with the man advantage.
“It was a terrible game by us,” forward Brandon Dubinsky(notes) said. “In order to win hockey games we need to win those battles and we need to have the puck. We didn’t do any of those things tonight. It’s disappointing because we came in here with a great opportunity and we didn’t execute at all.”
Goaltender Henrik Lundqvist(notes) left the game in the third period when a problem with his skate caused pain in his left foot. Because of that, Lundqvist might get his first night off when the Rangers wrap up a seven-game trek that’s taken them from Sweden to Long Island and western Canada.
Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said he will likely give Mason a start “in the next couple of games,” but in this one he might look to Pavelec, who’s 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average versus New York. Mason is 3-0-0 with a 2.46 GAA in four career matchups but gave up four goals in the most recent one.
After facing the Rangers, the Jets will head out on their own season-high, seven-game trip. They’ll face New York during the sixth stop on that journey Nov. 6.