Rangers outshoot Winnipeg but fall for first time in 2022-23 season

Rangers - Jets
New York Rangers goaltender Igor Shesterkin, top, celebrates with teammates after their 7-3 win against the Minnesota Wild in an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022, in St. Paul, Minn. (AP Photo/Abbie Parr)
AP Photos

The New York Rangers aren’t a unique team in that playing three games in four games to start a season is never easy. Playing the defending Eastern Conference Champions, followed by a back-to-back against the winningest home team in hockey, and an experienced Winnipeg Jets is even more difficult.

Sam Gagner scored the winning goal with over four minutes left in the final period, and the Jets knocked off the Rangers at home by a 4-1 score.

Winnipeg got the scoring started in the first period when Mark Scheifele got one past Jaroslav Halak halfway through the period. While the Jets had taken the early lead, the third game in four days was doing nothing to limit the Ranger offense. 

After being outshot 13-10 in the first period, New York outshot Winnipeg at an overwhelming 21-7 clip in the second. But for two full periods, Connor Hellebuyck kept the Rangers at bay. That was until the third period when, due to an injury to Ryan Carpenter and quick roster adjustments, Dryden Hunt scored on an excellent feed from Vincent Trocheck to tie the game at one. 

Artemi Panarin was also credited with an assist on the Hunt goal, his third straight game in recording a point, and his fifth assist of the year. His ability to find the open skater didn’t help extend the Ranger’s offense though. 

In total, New York outshot the Jets at a 41-34 clip but was held back by the brilliance of Hellebuyck throughout the contest. It just so happened that it would come back to bite them in the later portion of the contest. 

A second goal from Scheifele would stretch the lead by two late in the third when Kyle Connor hit an empty net goal to give Winnipeg the win in their season opener. 

A key to the Jet’s win was finding a way to limit the Rangers’ vaunted powerplay. After starting 2 for their first five, New York has been unsuccessful on their last six powerplay opportunities. After a strong five-on-five night on Thursday, the Rangers couldn’t replicate that success for the second night in a row. 

The Rangers (2-1-0) will be back on the ice at Madison Square Garden on Monday night when they welcome the return of Frank Vatrano and Ryan Strome. Puck drop against the Anaheim Ducks is set for 7:00 pm – ET. 

Rangers Game Notes

  • This was the first start for Jaroslav Halak in a  Rangers uniform. After signing a one-year, $1,250,000 deal in the off-season, the 37-year-old goaltender did everything that was asked of him to back up Igor Shesterkin. Halak saved 30-33 shots faced against him before the empty-netter. 
  • Ryan Carpenter had another solid start in the contest however he had to leave when he fell and the side of his head was cut on a Jet’s skate. He did not return to the game after his cut and the Rangers have not made an update on his availability for the next contest at home.
  • Vitali Kravtsov and Sammy Blais both missed a second consecutive game for the team with injuries that were deemed “not serious” by the coaching staff. Kravtsov (upper-body injury) could potentially be back on Monday, while Blais traveled with the team to Winnipeg, but did not play. 
  • It was an uncharacteristic night for the Rangers in the giveaway department. After recording just one giveaway in their 7-3 win over Minnesota on Thursday, the team had 20 in Friday’s loss (more than the first two games combined). 

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