Hellebuyck, Scheifele lead Jets past Rangers 4-2

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden, the Winnipeg Jets defeated the New York Rangers, 4-2, securing their third win in a row to begin an important five-game road trip.

Mark Scheifele led the way offensively for Winnipeg, netting his eighth career hat trick in the victory. Connor Hellebuyck continued his push for the Vezina Trophy, making 38 saves for his 32nd win of the season.

Alex Wennberg and Alexis Lafrenière scored for the Rangers in the losing effort, and Igor Shesterkin stopped 23 of the 26 shots he faced on the night.

“We didn’t get our forecheck going,” center Mika Zibanejad explained. “A good team like that is going to take advantage.”

Related: Rangers will have competition for top NCAA free agent

Winnipeg Jets 4 vs New York Rangers 2

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

In the opening period, both teams showcased their offensive prowess, creating several high-danger opportunities. Despite the back-and-forth action and the multitude of scoring chances, the first 20 minutes were defined by the two elite goaltenders. Hellebuyck collected 13 saves, and Shesterkin stopped all nine he faced.

The game’s tempo picked up in the second period, when both teams found the back of the net, breaking the deadlock established in the first. Scheifele started things by capitalizing on a broken play in front of the Rangers’ net at 4:04, netting his 20th goal of the season and giving the Jets a 1-0 lead.

Shortly after, Wennberg, playing in his 700th career NHL game, scored his first goal as a Ranger on the power play at 9:30. This goal, Wennberg’s 10th of the season, not only tied the game but extended his point streak to three games (one goal, two assists).

However, the Jets were quick to retake the lead with a power-play goal of their own. Kyle Connor, continuing his impressive season, scored his 30th goal at 12:18, pushing Winnipeg ahead 2-1.

The middle frame concluded with Scheifele once again finding the back of the net after a turnover by the Rangers at 17:55. Scoring his second goal of the period and his 21st of the season, Scheifele widened the Jets’ lead to 3-1.

“The second period we slipped with our play,” forward Jimmy Vesey said. “It was unfortunately the difference in the game. Schedule is what it is. We’ll put our head down and get back to work.”

In the third period, the Jets showcased their defensive prowess and the exceptional play of Hellebuyck. Playing with a disciplined and structured defense, they effectively limited the New York’s time and space on the ice, stifling many of the Rangers’ attempts to mount a comeback.

However, the Rangers found late life, when Lafrenière capitalized with the extra attacker, scoring his 20th goal of the season at 18:06. This goal, an NHL career high for Lafrenière, narrowed the Jets’ lead to 3-2.

Despite the Rangers’ late push, Scheifele sealed the victory for the Jets by scoring into an empty net at 19:51, completing the hat trick and securing the 4-2 win for Winnipeg. 

“I thought our guys were working,” coach Peter Laviolette noted. “It was a tough game. You want a better result.”

The Rangers will be back in action on Thursday night, when they travel to Boston to take on David Pastrňák and the Bruins. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 PM.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: