Mark Scheifele hat trick helps Jets beat the New York Rangers in sloppy NYR performance

Mar 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) and Winnipeg
Mar 19, 2024; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman K'Andre Miller (79) and Winnipeg / Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

A sloppy Rangers team allowed a very strong Winnipeg Jets roster to come into Madison Square Garden and walk away with the two points. A difficult night for the Metropolitan Division leaders who struggled to possess the puck. Constant turnovers in the defensive zone invited pressure from one of the best teams in the NHL, and they were able to punish the poor puck management of the New York Rangers.

It didn't start well when the Winnipeg Jets took the lead. Early in the second period, Kyle Connor won a board battle and was able to get the puck back to the blueline for Nate Schmidt. Schmidt fired the puck on, but it was knocked down in front by Schneider off a tip. The rebound falls onto the blade of Mark Scheifele, and the Rangers are now chasing the game when they have played very poorly.

On the powerplay, New York would tie the game. An offensive zone draw alloed the Rangers to work the puck back to Erik Gustafsson. Gustafsson sent the puck to Jack Roslovic who found Alexis Lafreniere for a shot. It was stopped, but the rebound was put home by Alex Wennberg for his first as a Ranger. A great shot to reach around a defenseman and chip it up into the top half of the net ties this game.

Winnipeg would get a powerplay of their own, and punish the Rangers poor defense. Mark Schiefele found Tyler Toffoli who set up Sean Monahan, but Igor Shesterkin was equal to the challenge. However, the rebound fell onto the blade of Kyle Connor who couldn't miss. It restored the Jets lead and we're now watching the Rangers trail again, which is a position they do not have a great record in.

Before the end of the second period, we'd see the Jets extend their lead. Mark Schiefele was able to knock the puck away from Chris Kreider at the point. He was left all alone with Igor Shesterkin, and the great Russian netminder was unable to save the blushes of the Rangers this time, Scheifele buried it and now it's a 3-1 Jets lead.

Connor Hellebuyck would shut the door until late in the third period when Shesterkin was on the bench. An Adam Fox point shot was deflected out in front but the Jets netminder was able to slam it away. Alexis Lafreniere was the lucky one to gather the loose puck, and the Rangers were now behind just the one goal. There was life in the Garden once again.

Mark Schiefele would hit the empty net for his hat trick, ending the Rangers hopes in this one. A difficult night with sloppy puck management exposed the absentees the Rangers have on the blueline. Going forward, the team needs to be better controlling the puck or this will happen against any team that can defend the neutral zone like the Jets did.