October 4, 2019 / 2:15 AM / a month ago

Rangers win high-scoring opener vs. Jets

EditorsNote: deleted “with” in 7th graf, adds “a” in 12th graf

Oct 3, 2019; New York, NY, USA; Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele (55) celebrates scoring a goal during the first period against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Brett Howden scored the tiebreaking goal with 4:09 remaining in the third period, and the host New York Rangers posted a wild 6-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night in the season opener for both teams.

The Rangers took three one-goal leads in the opening 40 minutes and fell behind early in the third period before scoring the final three goals.

Howden gave the Rangers their final lead by crashing the net after winning an offensive zone faceoff against Adam Lowry. He parked himself to the right of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck and swept the rebound of Jesper Fast’s shot into the vacated right side of the net.

New York’s Henrik Lundqvist withstood a barrage all night and made 43 saves to become the sixth goaltender in NHL history to reach 450 wins.

Newcomers Jacob Trouba and Artemi Panarin enjoyed stellar debuts for the Rangers. Trouba had a goal and two assists against his former team while Panarin scored a power-play goal and had the secondary assist on Trouba’s goal.

Mika Zibanejad collected a goal and three assists, and defenseman Marc Staal also scored for the Rangers. Defenseman Brendan Smith added an empty-net goal with 17 seconds left as the Rangers were killing off a holding penalty on Fast.

Before Howden’s clutch goal, Kyle Connor gave the Jets a 4-3 lead with 17:19 remaining in the third by deflecting a wrist shot from Josh Morrissey. The Rangers tied the game less than three minutes later when Zibanejad swept a backhander past Hellebuyck.

Mark Scheifele scored late in the first period and Blake Wheeler tallied twice for the Jets, who were 1-for-5 on the power play.

Hellebuyck finished with 26 saves.

The Rangers struck first 8:25 into the game when Staal eluded defenseman Anthony Bitetto and tucked a wraparound into the net. Winnipeg tied it at 1-1 when Scheifele lifted a wrist shot from the high slot over Lundqvist’s left shoulder with 2:37 remaining in the first.

Panarin scored 27 seconds into the second when his wrister from the right circle sailed over Hellebucyk. The Jets answered 30 seconds later when Wheeler finished off a cross-ice pass from Nikolaj Ehlers.

New York took a 3-2 lead at 6:03 of the second on Trouba’s long shot from the point after Panarin made a nice play at the blue line to maintain possession. The Jets scored right off the subsequent faceoff when Wheeler sped to the net past five defenders and easily beat Lundqvist to forge a 3-3 deadlock.

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