Winnipeg Jets 5 New York Rangers 2 – With the win the Jets are now 3-1 on the six-game road trip, as they leave the New York area they are headed for the state of Florida for the final two games. Jets season record is now 13-12-4 and their road record is 6-6-1.
For the second straight game the Jets fell behind early as Mats Zuccarello opened the scoring at 2:49 of the first, the only goal of the opening period with the Rangers outshooting the Jets 11-6.
The Jets defence got more involved in the offensive side of the game in period two and the Jets had a number of chances to score, including goal posts from Dustin Byfuglien and Jacob Trouba.
The Jets tied the game 8:16 in with Devin Setoguchi notching his third in four games off a nice feed from Olli Jokinen. Setoguchi now has seven on the year. Chris Thorburn was the left winger on that line in the absence of Evander Kane and picked up his first point of the season on the play. Kane is day to day with a lower body injury. Less than two minutes later the Jets took the lead. John Albert, up from St. John's, and making his NHL debut was sent in by Byfuglien and scored his first NHL goal on his first NHL shot. It was a great defensive read by Byfulien at the Jets line that started the play.
24-year-old Albert was a Jets pick in 2007 and is a third year pro. His parents, John and Cindy, were in the building for his special night.
Ryan Callahan tied the game before the second period was out, scoring off a goal mouth scramble. The second period was wide open with the teams trading chances and the shots, with the totals 15-13 in favour of New York.
Both teams were cautious to start the third but after the Jets killed off a penalty, the game again opened up with both Ondrej Pavelec and Cam Talbot getting tested. At 12:42 Jokinen snapped the tie with his 5th goal of the season beating Talbot from the slot after some good fore-checking by Thorburn and Setoguchi. It stayed that way until Jokinen's second of the game and 6th of the season put the game away, as he again beat Talbot from the slot with a wrist shot. Michael Frolik and Jacob Trouba drew assists. Trouba earned another assist on an empty net goal by Blake Wheeler. For Wheeler the goal snapped a 14 game goalless stretch. Final shots favoured the Rangers 37-30.
Individually, Pavelec has now only allowed nine goals against in his last five road games, Jokinen recorded his first three point game of the season, Thorburn notched is seventh career multi point game, Trouba his first to go along with a game-high eight blocked shots. Mark Scheifele had his four game point streak snapped but had another very good game in 16:57 of ice time, his most minutes played in the past 12 games. At 12:10, that was a season high for Thorburn, while Byfuglien again led the way at 28:38. Wheeler had seven shots on goal to lead the Jets in that category. Jokinen and Grant Clitsome were each plus three in the game. It was the second plus three game of the season for Clitsome. Albert played 8:29 on a line with James Wright and Anthony Peluso.
"We managed the puck very well, were a confident group and had a lot of players engaged in the game," commented Coach Claude Noel. "
We got production from a lot of people." As for Albert, "He had a few bumps but he was fine, strong positionally. His goal lifted our bench, a lot."
As for Thorburn, "he was good, got involved physically. On the fore-check he wanted the puck dumped into his corner and he would go get it."
Jets will have two more practice days in Florida before meeting the Panthers Thursday (TSN Jets, TSN 1290), then close out the trip in Tampa Saturday.