New York Rangers: 4 Winnipeg Jets: 2
The teams started out well and the Rangers jumped out to the early lead. After getting a taste of scoring last night, Kevin Klein puts the puck towards the net and after two deflections, and being changed twice, Carl Hagelin got the goal at 1:15. Dustin Byfuglien doesn’t waste any time getting the Jets right back to even as he scored at 2:33. The Jets went ahead by one as a result of an Andrew Ladd goal at 3:26 in the first. Anton Stralman took a bad hooking penalty at 7:44 but were able to kill it off well. Chris Kreider was unstoppable as he speed his way to a beautiful goal off a perfect feed from Derek Stepan at 11:28. Someone on the Jets didn’t get his counts right because there were too many men on the ice at 15:01. During the power play, Bryan Little took a run at Mats Zuccarello. As we all know, Zuccarello doesn’t let that go unnoticed, he jabbed right back. The Rangers weren’t able to convert on the power play but shortly after John Moore showed his continuing great play making abilities. Dan Girardi and Ladd exchanged several hard checks throughout the period. The Rangers were out shot 8-11 but the score stayed tied at two.
The period began with Al Montoya taking over in net. It was later announced that Joe Pavelic suffered a lower body injury and would not return to the game. Blake Wheeler got an early break away opportunity after he completely out skated Marc Staal; Henrik Lundqvist denied the goal! Dan Girardi went sliding across the ice to block a shot and as he got up off the ice he clipped Tobias Enstrom’s legs and sent him into the boards very awkwardly. He immediately got up and skated straight off the ice leaving his gloves and stick behind. . When play resumed, Brian Boyle laid a huge hit of his own. Rick Nash made his presence known in front of the goal as he drew a hooking penalty as Mark Stuart took him down at 9:23. Nash also spent a moment cuddling with Montoya until the referees untangled them. Lundqvist went sliding out on the ice past the face off dot to stop a break away and gave every single one of the Rangers’ fans a heart attack, but he made the save. At Staal went to the box for interference on Jokinen. Martin St. Louis stole the puck and got a 2 on 1 break away with Ryan McDonagh who just missed the net wide on what could have been his fourth short-handed goal of the season. The penalty kill was successful for the Rangers. Then at 17:41 St. Louis was sent to the box for a very soft hooking call. The Rangers killed the penalty once again and as St. Louis exited the box, he set the puck in perfect position for Hagelin to beat Montoya with only eight seconds remaining in the period. Klein assisted on the goal for the second time of the night. The period ended with the Rangers leading 3-2 but behind in shots 7-11.
It took the 11 seconds for the Rangers to get a power play after Zack Bogosian just steam rolled Zuccarello. The Jets controlled the beginning of the power play and the Rangers were not able to convert; again. Lundqvist had another amazing poke check, this time against Jokinen. Lundqvist didn’t stop there, he made a great point blank stop with a bouncing puck coming from Michael Frolik. The Jets kept pushing hard with a lot of pressure on Lundqvist who stood on his head to keep the Jets off the board. With 11:10 remaining in the game Hagelin gets his hat trick as he beat Montoya again. At 14:10 McDonagh went to the box for interference and Lundqvist made some huge scrambling saves. Then Stepan had a couple of really good short-handed opportunities. Then Evander Kane tripped Anton Stralman and the Rangers were able to control the puck to end their penalty kill for a full power play. St. Louis nearly got his first goal in a Rangers sweater but the shot was denied. There weren’t many hard battles against the boards until the clock started to run down. The Jets pulled Montoya for the extra attacker with just over a minute remaining in the game. Girardi had a slight scare as the puck flew out of play with no immediate call. It was deflected so no penalty. Girardi checked Wheeler into Lundqvist, making it hard for him to get up and just barely missed the open net in the closing seconds of the game. The Rangers ended the Period ahead on the board though behind in shots 8-10. Lundqvist put his 301st goal into the record books to tie Mike Richter‘s record.
The Rangers play again on Sunday afternoon at 4:00pm at Madison Square Garden.