Powerplay lifts Rangers over Jets

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John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP

After laying an egg on the powerplay in Brooklyn, the Rangers scored twice with the man advantage in Winnipeg en route to a 2-1 win over the Jets. It wasn’t pretty, as even strength play was inconsistent, but they were able to keep the Jets of the board for the most part. The lack of scoring is expected for the Rangers, who are missing four of their top forwards. But they persevered for their first win of the season when scoring fewer than three goals.

The defense was pretty solid, and Antti Raanta put up a solid game. He needed to kiss the post a few times, but that’s hockey. Marc Staal had a solid game, and I spotted a lot of smart plays with the puck from him, including several controlled zone exits. Zone exits and entries were something that the Rangers did very well in the first period, which shows up in the quality chances on net. Overall, a fairly decent game for a very shorthanded Rangers team.

On to the goals:

Ranger 1, Jets 0

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The Rangers got going early on the powerplay, something we couldn’t say against the Isles. Brandon Pirri followed up his shot by getting it to Mats Zuccarello. Three Jets went ot Zucc, and Zucc very calmly recognized this and got the puck across the Royal Road to Derek Stepan. Stepan followed it up with a beautiful pass back across the Royal Road to Chris Kreider all alone in front for the easy goal.

Jets 1, Rangers 1

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The Jets had the Rangers pinned for the majority of the second period, and it led to a goal. Stepan didn’t have good position on Mark Scheifele in front, which gave him ample space for the rebound. Also, Nick Holden was in No Man’s Land on this one. Not sure what he was doing here.

Rangers 2, Jets 1

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The Rangers got their second powerplay goal from Kevin Hayes, this one the game winner with about a minute remaining. There was some good puck movement, and the Rangers got a little lucky too. Ryan McDonagh’s shot was deflected up top, and the puck went right to Hayes with Hutchinson out of position. Easy tap-in.

Even Strength Corsi

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Even though it seemed that the Rangers owned the first period, it was about equal in terms of shot attempts. That said, the Rangers really laid an egg in the second period, which seems odd considering their success in the second this year. But they woke up in the third, which led to the drawn penalty and the powerplay winner.

Even Strength Scoring Chances

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It’s like the Rangers flatlined after the first period. Completely unable to get a scoring chance. Injuries are taking their toll on the offense, that’s for sure. But they woke up with ten minutes to go, pressing for the win. That was nice to see.

The Rangers got two points last night and the always important regulation win. It’s a tough stretch for the Rangers, who head to Chicago tonight while playing with half their roster on IR (it sure does feel that way, at least). Chicago is vulnerable. Following this win up with another tonight would be huge.