Olli Jokinen continued to haunt Ranger fans as the ex-Ranger scored two goals for the Winnipeg Jets in the second period to help his team win 4-3, Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.
The Rangers (8-8-2, 18 points) didn't seem to play with urgency until they were down on the scoreboard, and it ultimately cost them. The Jets needed just Jokinen and Evander Kane to beat them as the pair scored two goals apiece.
In the second period, Jokinen got the scoring going when he was left wide open in front of the net. He buried the shot, causing an outcry on Twitter. That came about because of his poor play as a member of the Rangers in 2009-10. The Rangers traded Ales Kotalik and Christopher Higgins to Calgary in exchange for Jokinen and Brandon Prust, and Jokinen didn't pan out. He scored four goals in 26 games, so you can see why fans weren't thrilled that he scored half that amount in a period against the Blueshirts.
He scored later in the period after a defensive lapse by Stu Bickel. Bickel rushed the blue line, trying to make a play, but was unable to clear the puck. He was caught in no man's land, leaving Matt Gilroy all alone as the last line of defense. Jokinen received a pass and buried an awkward angle shot to extend Winnipeg's lead, 3-1.
Steve Eminger's shot hit the pipe and Callahan was ready for the rebound to give The Garden some life.
In the third period, Rangers head coach John Tortorella benched Chris Kreider and Brandon Mashinter, and Bickel saw just one shift. The strategy seemed to work as the Rangers put the pressure on in the period.
There were three goals in a 73-span, though, and that was it. Taylor Pyatt started the scoring barrage with a deflection. Anton Stralman took a shot from the point that Pyatt was able to get his stick on. Pyatt skated right to the front of the net, and looked as if he needed to battle teammate Derek Stepan for the goal.
After that made it 3-2, The Garden was full of life for all of 20 seconds. That's when Kane was able to beat Lundqvist five-hole, expanding the Jets' lead and ultimately putting the game out of reach.
Stralman scored 53 seconds later on what we thought was the best offensive sequence for the Rangers all year — maybe competing with Stepan's game-winning goal against the Capitals.
Everyone was moving, which created some hectic defense. Eventually, a rebound tricked out to Stralman in the slot and he put home the goal, making it 4-3, a deficit the Rangers wouldn't be able to overcome.
Ondrej Pavelec made 30 saves in net for the Jets, earning his team win (9-9-1).Tags: Anton Stralman, Evander Kane, Henrik Lundqvist, Hockey, John Tortorella, New York, New York Rangers, NHL, Olli Jokinen, Ondrej Pavelec, Ryan Callahan, Steve Eminger, Stu Bickel, Taylor Pyatt, Winnipeg Jets