Rangers: 3 keys to beating Winnipeg in the final game of the road trip

Vancouver Canucks center Elias Pettersson (40) checks New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) during third  period at Rogers Arena
Simon Fearn-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Rangers will close out this season’s western road trip tonight against the Winnipeg Jets. The Blueshirts went a perfect 4-0 along the west coast portion of this stretch, but will now move farther into central Canada for one game before heading back home.

The Rangers currently have a solid record of 6-2-0 heading into Winnipeg tonight. As the leaders of the Metropolitan Division, there are high hopes that the Blueshirts can extend their win streak and head back to New York with momentum on their side. The Jets are not bad by any means, so the Blueshirts will certainly need to work in order to keep the streak alive.

1. The Rangers’ birthday star extends his personal point streak

Artemi Panarin is celebrating his 32nd birthday today by hoping to extend his point streak to nine games straight. The Rangers star has scored at least one point in every single game played so far this season as he leads the Blueshirts with four games and eight assists.

Panarin has managed to consistently contribute towards multiple goals per game, bolstering the Blueshirts’ scoring abilities. If he continues to excel as an elite offensive threat, his team should have no problem getting on the scoresheet and cruising past the Jets.

2. The Rangers need to start taking less penalties

One consistent problem New York has seen this season is a strong lack of discipline. In the Blueshirts’ previous victory over Vancouver, the amount of penalties taken could have very well caused the Rangers to lose. Luckily, the penalty kill units came through, and the Canucks only managed to score once on their six power-play opportunities.

The more penalties taken, the higher the chance that the opposing team will score. The Blueshirts will need to be more disciplined tonight against Winnipeg in order to keep the Jets off the board as much as possible.

3. Close out the road trip with a perfect finish

Utilizing momentum has been a key to victory in practically every game on this long away stretch. The Rangers have not been at MSG for four games, yet the Blueshirts have gone a perfect 4-0 on the road this trip. Winnipeg is the final stop before the Rangers head home, and they will need to keep pushing full steam ahead.

It’s never easy to outplay an opponent in their own stadium, but New York seems to have perfected it early on this season. Some wins were more dominant than others, but the momentum is certainly in the Rangers’ favor right now. The Jets are coming off an overtime loss, while the Rangers are currently riding the longest active win streak in the NHL right now.

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