Live conversation as Rangers wrap up games vs West and go for 1st place

Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save while screened by Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry (17) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 6, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; New York Rangers goalie Igor Shesterkin (31) makes a save while screened by Winnipeg Jets forward Adam Lowry (17) during the second period at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The New York Rangers host the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden wrapping up their games against the Western Conference.   They have gone 16-11-4 this season picking up 36 of a possible 62 points versus West teams.   Their 16 wins trail only the Hurricanes who had 23 wins against that division.

It will be a return to New York for Morgan Barron who was included in the in the deadline deal for Andrew Copp that has paid off handsomely for New York.  Meanwhile, Barron was originally sent to the AHL, but has played in the last eight games for the Jets with one goal and one assist, both coming in the same game.  Copp has been a point-a-game player for the Rangers with five goals and 13 points in 13 games.   He spent seven years in Winnipeg, playing 467 games.

Winnipeg is still in the playoff picture, but are hanging on by a thread. They have six games left and are ten points out of the last wild card spot.  A loss to the Ranger will eliminate them from the playoffs.

The Jets have won only two games in their last eight, going 2-5-1 and allowing 36 goals, an average 4.50 goals per game. Goalie Connor Hellebuyck was pulled in his last two starts after allowing seven goals on 32 shots to Tampa and four goals on 26 shots to Florida.

Hellebuyck will get the night off with backup Eric Comrie in goal. The Jets are also missing top center Mark Scheifele, out with an upper body injury.

The Jets are in the middle of the pack statistically, 16 in goals per game (3.07), 13th from the bottom in goal allowed per game (3.17) and their power play is 15th over all (21.6%).  Their power play is not good, with a 74.5%, fourth worst in the NHL.

The playoff picture

The Hurricanes won on Monday, beating Arizona 5-3.  That puts them two points up on the Rangers in the fight for first place, but the Rangers have played one fewer game.  The Penguins are in the middle of a stretch of four days without a game and they are seven points behind the Rangers with five games left.

Washington keeps winning, beating the Avalanche 3-2.  They are now only one point behind the Penguins with a game in hand.

It’s also worth noting that the Caps are also one point behind Boston for the first wild card slot though the Bruins have a game in hand.

The only game that the Rangers will be following tonight is Boston on the road against the Blues. The Rangers’ magic number to clinch second place remains four points.

Here are the Eastern Conference  standings.

Metropolitan Division

  1. Carolina:   106 points – 5 games left
  2. Rangers:   104 points – 6 games left
  3. Penguins:  97 points – 5 games left

Atlantic Division

  1. Florida:  114 points – 7 games left
  2. Toronto:  106 points – 6 games left
  3. Tampa:   100 points – 7 games left

Wild Card

  1. Boston:  97 points – 7 game left
  2. Washington: 96 points – 6 games left

This season

The teams have met only once this season and the Rangers won 4-1 on March 6 behind the goaltending of Igor Shesterkin who made 45 saves.  The Rangers scored two goals in the first and third periods, let by Chris Kreider who scored twice.

The only Winnipeg goal was scored by Nikolaj Ehlers in the second period.  It was the third straight win for the Rangers over the Jets.

Projected starting lineups

Igor Shesterkin will be in net for the Rangers. He has won his two lifetime starts against the Jets, allowing two goals on 98 shots for a save percentage (Sv%) of .978 and a goals against average (GAA) of 1.05.  With Kaapo Kakko out with a leg injury, he is being replace by Ryan Reaves in the lineup with Alexis Lafrenière moving up to the third line.


20 Kreider – 93 Zibanejad – 77 Vatrano
23 Panarin – 16 Strome -18 Copp
13 Lafreniere– 72 Chytil – 21 Goodrow
29 Hunt – 17 Rooney – 75 Reaves

55 Lindgren – 23 Fox
79 Miller – 8 Trouba
12 Nemeth – 45 Schneider

31 Shesterkin
40 Georgiev


81 Kyle Connor – 25 Paul Stastny -27 Nikolaj Ehlers
13 Zach Sanford – 80 Pierre-Luc Dubois – 26 Blake Wheeler
36 Morgan Barron -17 Adam Lowry – 22 Mason Appleton
12 Jansen Harkins -21 Dominic Toninato – 71 Evgeny Svechnikov

44 Josh Morrissey – 2 Dylan DeMelo
88 Nate Schmidt – 4 Neal Pionk
64 Logan Stanley -5  Brenden Dillon

1 Eric Comrie
37 Connor Hellebuyck

Eric Comrie will get the start tonight. He has made 24 appearances for four teams over the last six years, but he hasn’t faced the Rangers. He is 12-8-3 this season with a .912 Sv% and 2.74 GAA.

How to watch and the live conversation

Gametime is 7pm and the telecast will be on the MSG Network.  The live stream will be on ESPN+.

Blue Line Station’s live conversation is active and you can join your fellow Ranger fans and talk about the team and expectations for the playoffs.  Join the conversation in the comments section below.