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Rangers battle Laine and the Jets at MSG and aim for fifth straight win

Bobby Bevilacqua

rangers-vs-jets-12-18

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.

After another five goal effort against the Bruins last night, the Rangers (9-3-0) take on the Winnipeg Jets (5-6-1) at Madison Square Garden, with the team looking for a season best five game win streak.

The Rangers erased an early deficit yesterday with another five goal game, including Nick Holden’s first as a Ranger, Stepan’s first of the season and Pavel Buchnevich’s first career NHL goal. Antti Raanta had another great performance, turning aside 35 shots for his second win of the season.

The Jets won their last game, beating the Red Wings 5-3. Two rookies shined in the game, with 2016 second overall pick Patrik Laine scoring his seventh goal of the season, and Brandon Tanev scoring his first two NHL goals, including the game winner. Connor Hellebuyck made 30 saves.

This is the first of two meeting between the Rangers and Jets and the only one at MSG. The Rangers lost both games to Winnipeg last season, and JT Miller and Mats Zuccarello both scored one goal in the series.

It’s not known who will start for the Jets since Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson both split starts, but my guess is Hellebyuck. He’s been the better goalie so far, going 3-3-0 with a 2.69 GAA and a .916 save percentage.

Patrik Laine has been everything the Jets hoped he would be and more, scoring a team high seven goals and totaling 10 points in 12 games. At 6-foot-5 and 206 pounds, the 18 year old Finnish winger is tough to defend and hard to move off the puck. All he needs is one chance and he’ll find a way to score on you. It’ll be fun to watch him play tonight.

Mark Scheifele has been the team’s best player this season, scoring 12 points (6-6-12) in the team’s 12 games so far. He scored 61 points last season, the second best of his career, and he’s been a big part of the team’s top line attack. With captain Blake Wheeler and Nicolaj Ehlers on his wings, there’s a lot of talent and scoring threat coming all at once.

The Rangers offense has scored a total of 50 goals this season, tops in the league, and the +23 goal differential through 12 games is the highest in franchise history (via StatBoy_Steven). The forwards and defenders have been playing well together on offense and defense, which is why the team has been playing well so far.

Henrik Lundqvist will be in net for the Rangers. Hank has had mixed performances in his last five games despite the Rangers winning four of them. Two games have seen him post a save percentage of .875% or lower, while the other three have seen him allow four goals on 93 shots, with one shutout. So far, Lundqvist is 6-3-0 with a 2.24 GAA and a .913 save percentage.

Michael Grabner was signed to be a penalty killer and a depth piece, but he happens to be leading the team in goals right now. His seven goals are one behind Sidney Crosby for the league lead, and his 10 points are tied for third on the Rangers. He has seven points (5-2-0) in the last four games and will look to stay red hot with the rest of the third line.

After scoring his first career NHL goal last night, Pavel Buchnevich finally got the monkey off of his back. With that pressure off of him, Buchnevich might be able to settle in and just play his game. He’s on the fourth line for now, but his play has earned him some extra time in the near future. I wouldn’t be surprised if he begins scoring more regularly now.

The Rangers and the Jets will faceoff at Madison Square Garden at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on MSG Network.

EXPECTED LINEUP

Jimmy Vesey-Derek Stepan-Rick Nash

Chris Kreider-Mika Zibanejad-Mats Zuccarello

Michael Grabner-Kevin Hayes-JT Miller

Pavel Buchnevich-Brandon Pirri-Jesper Fast

Ryan McDonagh-Dan Girardi

Marc Staal-Nick Holden

Brady Skjei-Kevin Klein

Henrik Lundqvist

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Posted on November 6, 2016, in Game Previews, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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