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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, March 14th (All times Eastern)

New York Rangers (35-28-4) at Winnipeg Jets (20-28-9), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The playoff-hopeful Winnipeg Jets desperately need a win to aid their fragile postseason chances and they hope to get that victory on Friday when the struggling New York Rangers visit the MTS Centre.

Paul Maurice's club is in the midst of a five-game slide, and although the Jets have managed to earn three points during the skid they'll need to start rattling off some wins to make the playoffs.

Winnipeg is five points out of a playoff spot in the West with 15 games left on its schedule. The Jets haven't made the postseason since relocating from Atlanta to Winnipeg prior to the 2011-12 campaign. The former Thrashers, meanwhile, only made the playoffs once during 11 frustrating seasons in Atlanta.

The Jets fell to 0-3-2 on their current funk after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss against visiting Vancouver. Chris Higgins scored the game winner in the third round of the shootout, as the Canucks halted a seven-game road skid to down Winnipeg in the opener of a three-game homestand.

Winnipeg held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in the game, but couldn't close out the win in regulation. Then, after the first five shooters came up empty, Higgins charged in down the middle and made a number of quick dekes before stuffing a forehand past Ondrej Pavelec's outstretched right pad for the victory.

Andrew Ladd and Michael Frolik each lit the lamp for Winnipeg, while Pavelec posted 31 saves in the setback.

"It's a loss because of the shootout," Maurice said. "It's a 2-2 game in terms of how it was played and I think that's a pretty accurate assessment of how the game went."

The Jets went 7-2-0 in the first nine games under Maurice, who replaced a fired Claude Noel in January. Winnipeg, however, is just 4-3-4 under Maurice since the coach's early success.

Winnipeg earned a win over the Rangers on Dec. 2, notching a 5-2 road victory at Madison Square Garden. Ex-Ranger Olli Jokinen had two goals and an assist to lead the offense and Pavelec made 35 saves for the win.

The Jets have won three of the last four meetings versus New York, but the Rangers have claimed two of the three encounters at the MTS Centre since the franchise relocated.

New York has lost two straight to begin a three-game road trip and Alain Vigneault's club is just 2-4-1 in March. With 74 points, the Rangers are tied with Columbus for second place in the Metropolitan Division. but they are only one ahead of Philadelphia, which currently holds the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

After losing 3-1 at Carolina on Tuesday, the Blueshirts dropped a 2-1 decision Thursday night at Minnesota. Zach Parise's goal 1:03 into the third period provided the difference in the Wild's 2-1 victory at XCel Energy Center.

Cam Talbot turned aside 24 shots in the loss, with Derek Stepan recording the lone New York goal.

"We're not scoring a lot of goals 5-on-5," said Vigneault. "I thought our effort was better tonight, our execution was a little bit better, but we need to finish more and obviously that wasn't the case tonight."

Martin St. Louis is one of the many Rangers struggling to find the net at the moment. St. Louis has no goals and one assist in five games since coming to New York in the blockbuster trade that sent former Rangers captain Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay.

St. Louis has excellent career numbers against the Atlanta/Winnipeg franchise, posting 27 goals and 55 assists over 74 career games.

Despite dropping the first two tilts on its current trek, New York still has a solid 19-13-0 road record this season. The Blueshirts will return home to host San Jose on Sunday, but then will head back out on another three-game swing.

03/14 10:58:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
7:00pm Tonight
CHA
LAC
7:00pm Tonight
CLE
ORL
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
POR
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHO
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
IND
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
CHI
Final
UWGB 66
ECU 49
Final
WEBER 59
NEV 56
Final
FRES 52
EVAN 58
 
Final
KYST 88
PURD 79
2nd
LSU 56
CLEM 54
 
2nd
ALCOR 68
DILL 44
 
2nd
CHIST 15
UGST 39
 
Half
DET 27
MDES 29
 
1st
ARZ 14
MIZZ 9
 
1st
INDST 4
PEAY 0
 
6:00pm Tonight
FLGC
MAR
6:00pm Tonight
LALAF
UWMIL
6:30pm Tonight
ODU
GWEBB
7:00pm Tonight
MD
ARST
7:00pm Tonight
TOL
BUCK
7:00pm Tonight
JMU
COL
 
7:00pm Tonight
WINT
ETST
 
7:00pm Tonight
GSOUT
FIU
7:00pm Tonight
BST
GRAM
 
7:00pm Tonight
APP
HAMP
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAST
JVU
 
7:00pm Tonight
XAV
MURST
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WAKE
NICST
 
7:00pm Tonight
MSU
SCU
7:00pm Tonight
LOU
SAV
7:00pm Tonight
TENT
SELA
 
7:00pm Tonight
VCU
VILL
7:00pm Tonight
OU
WCU
7:30pm Tonight
IND
EWASH
8:00pm Tonight
ILL
BRO
8:00pm Tonight
MSST
CLAYST
 
8:00pm Tonight
BEL
LIP
 
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TCU
MVSU
 
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IOWA
PEPP
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MEM
PVU
 
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KU
RIDE
8:00pm Tonight
BAY
STEPH
 
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INCWORD
A
 
8:30pm Tonight
USF
HAW
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OKST
ORST
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WYO
FAM
 
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MARQ
YALE
 
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CHAM
PITT
9:00pm Tonight
ILLST
SHU
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NMST
STET
 
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
ALA
9:30pm Tonight
SDKST
CHADRON
 
9:30pm Tonight
NCOL
CCHR
 
9:30pm Tonight
OREG
MICH
10:00pm Tonight
SDU
WMICH
10:05pm Tonight
PORST
SIUE
11:00pm Tonight
AUB
TULSA
11:30pm Tonight
SDST
BYU
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
PHI
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
PIT
7:30pm Tonight
FLA
MIN
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NYJ
8:30pm Tonight
NOS
BAL