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Rangers, Jets seek 2 big points in Winnipeg

10:09 AM, Mar 14, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The New York Rangers will try to get back on track Thursday when they make their only scheduled stop of the season in Winnipeg.

Thursday's meeting at MTS Centre is an important one in the Eastern Conference landscape. Both the Rangers and Jets have 28 points on the year, putting them in a tie for the East's eighth and final playoff spot.

The Jets were swept in last year's four-game season series, but they notched a 4-3 regulation win in New York on Feb. 26. Evander Kane and Olli Jokinen each scored two goals to lead the club to just its third win in the last eight games against the Rangers.

The Rangers had won four straight before suffering losses in two of their last three contests. New York was dealt a 3-1 loss in its most recent trip to the ice, losing Tuesday's contest in Buffalo after posting a 5-1 win Sunday at Washington.

New York outshot the Sabres by a 33-22 margin and scored the game's first goal early in the second period, but Buffalo would grab a 2-1 lead by the end of 40 minutes. Marcus Foligno scored a pair of goals for the Sabres.

Derek Stepan scored shorthanded for the Rangers' only goal, with Henrik Lundqvist registering 19 saves in New York's second loss in its past seven outings.

"I don't know what happened tonight," said Lundqvist. "They just kept coming at us and we couldn't do much to slow them down at either end of the ice."

The loss dropped New York to 1-1-0 on a four-game road trip that is set to end Saturday in Pittsburgh. The Rangers are just 4-5-1 as the visiting club this season, but they have secured a point in four of their last six road games (3-2-1).

The Jets have won three of their last four games and have gained a point in each contest during that 3-0-1 stretch. Winnipeg earned two points in its most recent outing, posting a 5-2 win over visiting Toronto behind two goals from Blake Wheeler.

Nik Antropov added a goal and two assists for the Jets and Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves in the win. Kyle Wellwood had a goal and an assist, while Kane also lit the lamp.

"I thought we had a lot of good games tonight from a lot of players. I thought guys played hard and weren't going to be denied," Jets head coach Claude Noel said.

Thursday's test completes a brief two-game homestand for the Jets, who are 5-6-0 as the host this season compared to an 8-5-2 mark on the road. Last season, Winnipeg had a solid 23-13-5 record at the MTS Centre and went 14-22-5 everywhere else.

The Sports Network

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