The New York Rangers are a premier team in the NHL, but the Winnipeg Jets caught them at a bad time.
Well, bad time for the Rangers, very good time for the Jets.
The Rangers were coming into tonight’s game at MTS Centre having lost their last six road games, including just last night against the Minnesota Wild. Having played the previous night and being in a bit of a slump as of late, the Jets knew they had to take advantage tonight.
They did just that, beating the New York Rangers soundly by a score of 5-2. The Jets completed the season sweep of the Rangers, outscoring them a total of 9-3.
It’s something we’re not used to seeing on a consistent basis, but the Jets took control of this one right from the start. Bryan ‘Ranger killer’ Little scored twice in the opening 8 minutes to put the Jets up 2-0 early. Little now has 12 goals on the season, tying him for the team lead with Mark Scheifele with 12.
Why do I say Ranger killer? Well, Little also scored twice against the Rangers in their last meeting earlier in the season.
The Rangers did get one back later in the period when J.T. Miller put in a weird goal. You can say Miller out-battled Chariot for it, but really Hellebuyck kind of knocked it in himself.
In any case, Rangers cut the lead in half. Until Byfuglien slapped on past Lundqvist just 3:30 later to regain the two-goal lead.
The scored stayed 3-1 in favor of the Jets for most of the second period, until captain Andrew Ladd was sent of for unsportsmanlike conduct against Marc Staal. Dan Boyle and the Rangers capitalized on the power play to get back within one.
However, once again, the Jets had a quick answer. Tyler Myers took a nice cross-ice feed from Blake Wheeler and had all day to rip one past Lundqvist to once again take a two-goal lead.
Andrew Ladd put a cap on the night with an empty-net goal to complete the 5-2 win.
Like I said, the Jets caught the Rangers at the right time. Still, the Jets played a complete game and still a big win over a very good hockey club. Hopefully, it’s something they can build on when the hit the road to play the Edmonton Oilers Monday night.
KEYS TO THE GAME
Solid 60-minute effort: The Jets finally put together a full 60 minutes of solid play. From start to finish, everyone came to play and they never took their foot off the pedal. In fact, all but five players had positive 5v5 corsi differentials. Andrew Ladd was even, and Burmistrov, Halischuk and Armia were minus 1. There was one player who was a minus 4. I’ll give you two guesses who it was.
Limited stupid penalties: The Jets only took three minor penalties in this game, and the last one taken by Byfuglien was a coincidental roughing minor with Dylan McIlrath. The other two were taken by Andrew Ladd, the second of which was the one the Rangers scored on and the one he probably would like back. Overall, the Jets played a very disciplined game and they’ll win more games than not if they stay disciplined like this.
Hellebuyck time: Hellebuyck followed up his worst game statistically as a Jet with a very solid outing, stopping 26 of 28 shots. He didn’t have to make too many high-danger saves, but it’s good to see the young goaltender bounce back from a not-so-great performance.
CHARTS AND STUFF
Individual scoring chances.
— JetsNation (@NHLJetsNation) December 19, 2015
Stuart…..you’re killin’ me man.