The long road trip and playing short staffed may have caught up to the Jets Sunday in New York as the Rangers won 3-0. Playing three games in four days on the road is never easy, but it becomes even tougher when the back-to-back games are games two and three. Marty Biron was in goal for the Rangers' win, as he was when New York beat the Jets 2-1 in Winnipeg.
Now, despite the above, the Jets had their chances. On their second power play of the night they moved the puck around well and had some opportunities but could not convert them into the game's opening goal.
Mark Stuart returned to the lineup as coach Claude Noel dressed seven d-men in case Stuart couldn't finish the game. Still out from the back end are Ron Hainsey, Derek Meech, Randy Jones and Toby Enstrom. Goaltender Chris Mason and leading point getter Nik Antropov are also still out. At this point it is unclear if any will be ready for Tuesday night in Buffalo, although Antropov should be close.
"We looked tired," commented Noel in his post game news conference. "The size of our team was a factor. Their second goal is a play we didn't need. It was a one-goal game with lots of time left." On the play, Dustin Byfuglien tried to keep the puck in the Rangers zone but had it get by him resulting in a 2-on-1 that Derek Stepan and Marian Gaborik played to perfection. "From then on, it was a big hill to climb," added Noel. "It was a momentum shifter."
The Jets did a great job killing overlapping 5-on-3's in the third as they ran into some penalty trouble. Zach Bogosian again led the Jets in ice time with over 29 minutes. Tough night in the face off department for Bryan Little (7-20), after him being 50% or better in seven straight games. Ondre Pavelec was great, AGAIN.
Both Little and Blake Wheeler again had chances but can't find the back of the net. Neither has scored this season.
The Jets flew to Buffalo after the game and will conclude their seven game trip against the Sabres. They are 3-2-1 on the trip with one game to go.
Despite having three defenceman up with the Jets, the St. John's Ice Caps won again and continue to have one of the best records in the AHL.
After the Sabres game (TSN Jets, TSN 1290) the Jets return to play Florida at the MTS Centre Thursday, and then they're back on the road to take on Columbus before returning home for three.