It was not a good day for teams nicknamed the “Jets” in the New York City area on Sunday, as the New York Jets fell to 3-6 on the NFL season with a loss to the Miami Dolphins.
It was also not a good day for recent second overall picks in the same area, as Carson Wentz and the Philadelphia Eagles fell to the New York Giants at nearby MetLife Stadium.
Those clouds of negativity came to form one big storm at Madison Square Garden, where Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets became the latest victims of the New York Rangers. Laine scored a goal in the first period but that, as well as a shot-free third period from the Rangers, wasn’t enough to stop the Rangers’ hot streak, as they scored at least five goals in a game for, appropriately, the fifth consecutive contest, which ended in a 5-2 Rangers victory. The Rangers (10-3-0) also improved to 8-1-0 at Madison Square Garden on the young season.
Returning home to play a back-to-back after topping Boston on Saturday night by an equal 5-2 score, the Rangers got the scoring started, as Kevin Hayes tallied his sixth of the season, scoring for the fourth consecutive game. Laine’s goal would knot things up before the end of the period, and a show-stopping save by Connor Hellebuyck on Chris Kreider kept things that way, but little did anyone know, the Rangers were ready to break out.
The second period featured complacency for the first half, with each team getting a
goal. Mats Zuccarello‘s goal, also his sixth of the season, was responded swiftly by Mark Scheifele, his seventh of the year to keep things tied, this time at a couple apiece. But over a stretch spanning 4:04 of game time, JT Miller, Jesper Fast and Pavel Buchnevich put the game away with a goal each, with the rookie Buchnevich capping the scoring with an amazing individual effort past Michael Hutchinson, who came in for a pulled Hellebuyck after Fast’s goal. The Rangers didn’t tally a shot in the final frame, but Henrik Lundqvist stopped the remaining nine Winnipeg shots, withstanding two power plays to cap things off.
This is the first time since the 1978-79 season that the Rangers have scored at least five goals in five consecutive games. It’s also the first time in their 90-year history that they’ve achieved wins in 10 of their first 13 games.
The win also allowed the Rangers to avenge a season sweep at the hands of the Jets (5-7-1) last year. They will have a chance to complete a season sweep on December 8 at Winnipeg.
The Rangers will put their five-game winning streak on the line on Tuesday night, when they welcome the Vancouver Canucks to Madison Square Garden (7:00, MSG).
Geoff Magliocchetti is on Twitter @GeoffMags5490