Kreider fires a pair as the Rangers dump Jets 4-1 Featured

Written by  Published in Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg, Manitoba (NHN)-Chris Kreider scored twice and Igor Shesterkin and Henrik Lundqvist combined to stop 43 shots as the New York Rangers dumped the Winnipeg Jets by a 4-1 score Tuesday night.

Kreider said that was the start his club needed to pick up a needed win against a skilled team on the road.

"I think that's just the way you want to start any game," said Kreider. "I mean we know they (Jets) come out especially hard in this building. They come out hard in general they've got a lot of get up and go. Fast team, a lot of skill and great at creating chances."

Kreider's opening tally came on a breakaway late in the first period when he skated into a puck at centre ice before neatly tucking the puck past Winnipeg goaltender Connor Hellebuyck's right pad with a backhand deke.

"It was just a reaction," said Kreider matter-of-factly.

But Kreider's game has been anything but matter-of-fact lately, as the Ranger left winger has ten goals in his last thirteen contests which doesn't hurt with the NHL trading deadline coming later this month.

He's expected to be one of the most sought after forwards for teams making a playoff run but if that's the case he's not buying in, yet.

He's working on making the Rangers a better club down the stretch.

"Guys are getting more comfortable with each other. Young guys are growing up every single day. It's unbelievable to see how much everyone's progressing, how much everyone's improving, so that's something we've focused on and that's something we've got to continue to focus on.”

The Rangers opened up a three-game road trip with a win (28-23-4), but still remaing nine points back of an Eastern Conference wild card berth.

Ryan Strome had a goal and an assist for New York.

Winnipeg had their two-game winning streak snapped, suffering their first home loss of a six-game homestand.

The Jets sit one point back of the Arizona Coyotes for the final Western Conference wild card berth with 63 points (29-24-5).

Nikolaj Ehlers scored the lone goal for the Jets on the night.

Connor Hellebuyck turned aside 28 shots for Winnipeg.

New York goaltender Igor Shesterkin had to be replaced by Henrik Lundqvist with 6:04 left in the first after feeling the effects of a collision earlier in the period with Jet forward Andrew Copp.

Copp was shoved into Shesterkin by Ranger defenceman Tony Deangelo and had his leg bent awkwardly just over the eight minute mark.

Deangelo was penalized on the play.

Winnipeg outshot New York 13-11 in the opening period but the Rangers grabbed the lead late in the first when Chris Kreider scored with 35 seconds remaining after picking up a puck banked off the boards by Pavel Buchnevich which he skated into, blowing past Jet defenceman Sami Niku before tucking the disc past Connor Hellebuyck with a neat backhand deke.

The Rangers took a 2-0 lead with a power play marker 7:30 into the second when Kreider scored his second of the night, firing a rebound off a Ryan Strome shot from close in past Hellebuyck.

The goal was his 22nd of the season.

Ryan Strome scored 53 seconds into the third, sliding the puck through Hellebuyck's pads to put the Rangers up 3-0.

Mika Zibanejad made it 4-0 35 seconds later slamming a Pavel Buchnevich pass from behind the net past Hellebuyck to score his 23rd of the season.

Nikolaj Ehlers got Winnipeg on the board 4:35 into the third, tipping a Sami Niku shot from the right point past Shesterkin to make it 4-1.

The goal was his 20th of the season.

Ehlers moved into 9th spot in franchise scoring with the tally, his 110th as a Jet, one more than Evander Kane.

The Jets pushed hard for a second goal and came close with just over 3:20 remaining in the third when Patrik Laine broke in on a 2-on-1 and rang the puck off the left post.

Jets captain Blake Wheeler didn't mince words afterward.

“I don’t know if we’ve met before, but the last eight to ten games, our team’s competed our asses off. Tonight was an off night," said Wheeler.

“They definitely cashed in. Our shots were in areas that we have guys that can put it in, but there weren’t a whole lot of second chance opportunities, there weren’t ones where we’re banging in rebounds. They had a couple rebounders off the top of my head, this time of year that’s how you score.”

Jets Head Coach Paul Maurice thought his club dug themselves a hole after going down a pair to the Rangers.

“I don't know that it ever turned. I thought they were good defensively, for the most part. We had to work real hard for the offence that we did get. I never felt that they were loose in their game. Then, it’s in the third. The PK goal obviously puts us in trouble. We’re not necessarily in trouble at 1-0, it’s an even game in a lot of ways. You get some chances and they’re getting theirs. It felt like two because of how hard you had to work for your offence. And you’re in a bit of trouble after (2-0).”

Rangers Head Coach David Quinn liked his club's effort on the night.

"I just really liked our game. I thought we defended really well. We managed the puck really well. I thought we did a good job defensively. I'm not going to nit-pick here, it's a 4-1 win, we did a lot of great things. Once we got the penalty and they got the bounce, we got a little sloppy and they turned it on, but we really put ourselves in a great position tonight. I couldn't be more proud of our guys."

SHOTS-NEW YORK 32 WINNIPEG 44

ATTENDANCE-15,325

Philip Paul-Martin

A well rounded journalist with experience in both print and broadcast mediums, Philip has written news stories with impact, broken national news while at the CBC, anchored radio news and hosted talk show radio. His coverage includes feature writing, game stories and more in-depth pieces during the off-season as well as writing about the National Hockey League and the Winnipeg Jets. He calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.