Jets welcome road-weary Rangers

The Winnipeg Jets hope to build off their finest offensive showing of the season when they play host Monday to the New York Rangers, who lost 2-0 at Edmonton two nights ago.
Jets netminder Chris Mason, right, makes a save in a 5-3 victory over the Hurricanes last Saturday. (Marianne Helm/Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets are coming off their best offensive performance of the season. They'll next try to take advantage of a team that just endured its worst.

The New York Rangers look to bounce back from a lacklustre shutout loss as they conclude a lengthy, season-opening road trip Monday night.

Winnipeg (2-4-1) scored five straight goals in a 15-minute span of the first and second periods after quickly falling behind 2-0 Saturday against Carolina, finishing with a 5-3 victory. The Jets had totalled 11 goals over their first six games, scoring just once three different times.

Chris Mason held onto the lead Saturday by making 11 of his 18 saves in the third period. Mason earned his first win of the season after replacing Ondrej Pavelec in the first period, helping to keep the Hurricanes 0 for 7 on the power play.

Winnipeg's opponents were six for 23 with the man advantage in the previous six games.

"We were tired of scoring just one goal and giving up goals on the penalty kill," Jets defenceman Mark Stuart said. "We showed that we can score and can come back on teams.

"That's good going forward. But it's one game.

"It's a good start. But in this league, if you want to be successful you've got to be consistent."

Winnipeg rookie head coach Claude Noel said he will likely give Mason a start "in the next couple of games." But in this one, he might look to Pavelec, who's 2-0-1 with a 1.30 goals-against average versus New York. Mason is 3-0-0 with a 2.46 GAA in four career matchups but gave up four goals in the most recent one.

Historically, the Jets/Atlanta Thrashers franchise has been consistently successful against the Rangers lately, going 8-1-1 in the last 10 matchups. Atlanta was 3-0-1 during last season's series and Pavelec recorded a shutout at Madison Square Garden on April 7.

After scoring a combined seven goals over consecutive victories, New York was blanked again Saturday at Edmonton. The Rangers (2-2-2) were outshot 27-19 during that 2-0 defeat and went 0-5 on the power play, making them a league-worst 1-23 with the man advantage.

"It was a terrible game by us," Rangers forward Brandon Dubinsky said. "In order to win hockey games, we need to win those battles and we need to have the puck.

"We didn't do any of those things. It's disappointing because we came in here with a great opportunity and we didn't execute at all."

Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist left the game in the third period when a problem with his skate caused pain in his left foot. Because of that, Lundqvist might get his first night off when the Rangers wrap up a seven-game trek that's taken them from Sweden to Long Island and western Canada.

After facing the Rangers, the Jets will head out on their own season-high, seven-game trip. They'll face New York during the sixth stop on that journey Nov. 6.