By Scott Billeck – @scottbilleck
WINNIPEG — Carl Hagelin had a goal in each period and the New York Rangers cruised to a comfortable 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night at the MTS Centre. Here are your Quick Hits from the game:
How it happened: A flurry of action awaited both teams and the Jets faithful at the MTS Centre to start the first frame. Carl Hagelin opened the scoring just 1:15 into the game on a deflected shot off a faceoff that fooled everyone including Ondrej Pavelec, who was helpless to the cause as he watched the puck sail over him into the back if the net. The lead was short-lived however, as Dustin Byfuglien scored his 17th of the year on a second effort baseball swing out of mid-air to tie things up. Andrew Ladd struck just 53 seconds later to give the Jets their first lead of the night in his 600th career NHL game. The Rangers didn’t retreat and at the 11:28 mark Chris Kreider blew past the Jets defence and fired one past Pavelec to tie the game up.
Pavelec didn’t come out for the second period in a move that was later characterized as a lower body injury. He did not return to the game. Al Montoya stepped in to relieve the injured Jets No. 1 and played well. The period was a back and forth affair with chances to be had by both teams. The lone goal of the period came at an untimely moment for the Jets as Hagelin lifted a backhand over Montoya’s glove at the 19:52 mark of the second, his second of the night.
The dagger came at the 8:50 mark of the third period and from who else? Carl Hagelin completed his hat-trick, having a goal in each period. The Rangers needed little else to dispatch the Jets and controlled the play for the rest of the third.
Shots: 32-23 Jets
What it means: Another day, another loss for the Jets who are now winless in six games under Paul Maurice’s guidance. The playoff dream is all but over in Winnipeg for the third straight season with 14 games remaining on the schedule.
Jets player of the game: Andrew Ladd scored his 19th goal of the season in his 600th game in his NHL career.
Jets stat of the game: The Jets managed to take just one first period penalty tonight after taking a combined seven in their last two games in the first 20 minutes.
What is next for the Jets: The Jets will practice Saturday before welcoming the Dallas Stars to town on Sunday.