WINNIPEG, MB – The Paul Maurice honeymoon in Winnipeg has come to an abrupt end as the Jets have now lost six straight after a disappointing, 4-2, loss to the New York Rangers . The road to the playoffs just hit another wrong turn as the Dallas Stars gained another point after a shoot out loss in Calgary and moved six up on the struggling Jets.
Ondrej Pavelec struggled in the Jets’ goal as he gave up two goals on eight shots and left after the first period with a lower body injury, he was replaced by Al Montoya who finished with 13 saves on 15 shots and took the loss.
Henrik Lundqvist brought his A game as he made 30 saves off 32 shots including a couple of spectacular saves early in the third to keep the lead for his club.
“Our goaltender had to make some good saves, and he did at the right time,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault said.
The Rangers got a hat trick from Carl Hagelin his 14th,15th, 16th goals of the season , and Chris Kreider potted his 17th goal.
“We haven’t played the way we wanted,” Hagelin said. “To get two points was huge. We move on from this and gain some confidence. We’ve got to play even better than this if we want to make the playoffs.”
Jets goal scorers were Dustin Byfuglien who got his 17th and Andrew Ladd scored his 19th.
“I thought we had momentum after 2-1 and playing well,” Ladd said. “We needed a little more from our power play (0-for-4 against the Rangers) to generate some momentum, and we didn’t get that.”
Small brain cramps continue to plague the Jets as they gave up a goal under two minutes into the game after a careless icing play although the Rangers got help off the draw from the linesman who’s skate redirected the puck back the Rangers , and they also continued the late period goals against as the Rangers scored with under a minute to go in the second.
“I thought we responded to the first (Rangers goal) very well, and I liked our game straight through to the tying goal,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “Our power play struggled in the second period. And then clearly the 3-2 goal changed how we moved the puck and how we moved some things around. It was tough.”
Both teams were 0-4 on the power play and this cost the Jets as they lost by two goals and could have used a couple on the PP.
Again Winnipeg basically went with nine forwards as the fourth line saw spot duty with under four minutes of ice time and this will need to be addressed if they want to become a playoff team .
The Jets once again showed no urgency for a team fighting for there playoff lives as the power play was off and they were not very physical and had little traffic in front of Lundqvist.http://
Haglelin’s hat trick was the first at the MTS Centre by any player since the Jets came back to Winnipeg.
“The past four or five games, I feel like I’m playing the way I want to play,” said Lundqvist, who is 3-1-1 in his past five games. “A lot of it is just being focused and making decisions, [fewer] technical mistakes when you’re focused in the right place. It’s fun to play right now. [These are] important games and big points … that we’re trying to get.”
The Jets will have a do or die game on Sunday against the Dallas Stars where they need a win to keep the flickering playoff dream alive.
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