JETBLAST: NEW YORK RANGERS @ WINNIPEG

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JETBLAST

New York Rangers (35-28-4) at Winnipeg Jets (30-28-9)  7:00 p.m., MTS Centre, TV: TSNJets Radio:TSN 1290

The Winnipeg Jets will try to keep their slim playoff hopes alive Friday evening when they welcome the New York Rangers to the MTS Centre for the second and final meeting of the year between these two teams. The first match up in New York was a good one for the Jets, a 5-2 win in New York on the back of a 3 point night from Ollie Joikenen back on December 2nd. Meanwhile the Rangers try to get back on track and improve their playoff rank.The Rangers sit third in the Metropolitan division but with more games played than most and only 1 point ahead of the wildcard Philadelphia Flyers. Big two points for both teams on a cold Friday night in Winnipeg, Lets Go!

Rangers

The Rangers are coming in after taking two losses in a row, and managing just 1 goal in each of those two games. At 67 games played the Rangers are sitting 6th in the conference. They sit just a point ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and 3 up from the Red Wings, each of those teams have two games in hand. The Rangers cannot afford to let points slip away or they might find themselves on the outside of the playoff picture. At the trade deadline this team tried to make the push that would get them over the top, with possibly the biggest blockbuster trade of the day when they sent their captain Ryan Callahan over to the Tampa Bay Lightning. In return, Martin St. Louis made the trip to the Big Apple, it has not been a dream start for St. Louis however. St. Louis has just 1 assist in 5 games and is a -1 in his time with the Rangers, at nearly 20 minutes a night the Rangers need more from the under sized winger in this stretch run to the playoffs.

Jets

The Jets keep racking up losses in what has become a trendy slide in the final weeks of the season for the Jets. They had the same kind of streak last season after sitting in a playoff spot for much of the year a long losing streak played them right out of it. Now with 5 straight losses the Jets look poised to repeat history and just miss out once again. Winnipeg has put themselves into a terrible position, losing most of these games at home, and losing to the teams they need to be able to beat in this league, as the schedule just gets harder for Winnipeg coming up. Goals remain a problem for the Jets as they just cannot manage to put the puck in the net. Despite dominating the Canucks for much of the game, they could only beat Eddie Lack twice and suffered a 3-2 loss in a shootout. It is the third overtime/shootout loss in this 5 game streak, 1 point is not good enough however as the Jets will look back at these games as missed chances. To be oh so close in these game could hurt even more when the season ends and they are just outside the frame of the playoff picture.

Keys to the Game

Win: It is no longer enough to have good games and moral victories. Single points are not enough, if you want the playoffs go out and get them.

Top scorers: The Jets need more from their most skilled players, Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler. The two have struggled since returning from the Olympic break, though playing well. Strong play is all fine and good but Winnipeg needs goals and these two need to be at the center of it.

Steal a game: Goaltending has been for the most part strong since the return from the break, but with this team struggling Ondrej Pavelec needs to come in and take a game himself.

Starting Goalies
Ondrej Pavelec (20-24-6) GAA: 2.95 SV% .903
Henrik Lundqvist (24-21-4) GAA: 2.51 SV% .916

Injuries

Clitsome WPG, (Back surgery) out
Scheifele WPG, (MCL) out
Wright WPG, (lower body) out
Albert WPG, (unknown) day-to-day

Last 10 (W-L-OTL)

Jets: 3-3-4
Rangers: 4-5-1

Prediction

Jets finally break the streak
Jets 3 Rangers 1

Become an MVP

Become an MVP with Winnipeg Whiteout and never miss a thing.

Diehard Winnipeg sports fan. Agree or disagree with something I wrote? Find me on twitter @seantheoilcan and let me know Go Jets Go!

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