Derek Stepan leads Rangers to win over Jets

 

 
 
 
 
Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers scores at 19 seconds of the first period against Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2013 in New York City.
 

Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers scores at 19 seconds of the first period against Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2013 in New York City.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

NEW YORK -- Derek Stepan scored twice, including the go-ahead goal in the third period, to lead the New York Rangers to a 4-2 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night.

Ryan Callahan had a goal and three assists as the Rangers snapped a two-game losing streak, picking up two vital points in their fight to hold onto a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. New York started the night clinging to eighth place.

Rick Nash also scored for New York and Henrik Lundqvist made 26 saves.

The Southeast Division-leading Jets got goals from Nik Antropov and Zach Bogosian in their third straight loss. Ondrej Pavelec stopped 31 shots for Winnipeg.

Stepan broke a 2-2 deadlock in the third as he pounced on the rebound of Anton Stralman's shot from the left point and knocked the puck past Pavelec at 5:46.

Nash gave the Rangers a 4-2 lead at 13:07.

The Jets led 2-1 after dominating the opening period.

The Rangers struck first as Stepan slipped behind the Winnipeg defence to beat Pavelec 19 seconds in, New York's first goal in three games. The Rangers were blanked by identical 3-0 scores in their prior two games in Ottawa and Montreal.

The lead soon evaporated as Antropov, left all alone in the slot, swept Kyle Wellwood's centring pass between Lundqvist's pads at 1:15.

Winnipeg took the lead at 12:54 as Bogosian fired a point shot that appeared to deflect of someone before it flew past Lundqvist.

The Jets outshot the Rangers 11-7 in a period where they spent long stretches in the New York zone.

The Rangers were much better in the second period, outshooting the Jets 15-7 while pulling even on Callahan's brilliant short-handed tally at 3:11.

Callahan sped into the Winnipeg zone as Mats Zuccarello returned to the ice after New York killed off the first half a Jets five-on-three power play. Showing great patience, Callahan first deked a Winnipeg defender, and then Pavelec, to the ice before depositing a backhander.

NOTES: Rangers D Stralman played in his 300th game while Jets LW Evander Kane appeared in his 250th game. ... The game was the start of a three-game road trip for the Jets that includes stops in Long Island and Montreal. ... The Rangers signed 20-year-old free agent D Tommy Hughes to a contract. He played four seasons with London of the Ontario Hockey League. ... With Kris Newbury sent to the minors on Sunday, Rangers C Darroll Powe returned to the lineup after sitting out three games. ... Jets D Grant Clitsome suffered a facial cut in the first period when clipped by a stick and did not return.

 
 
 
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Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers scores at 19 seconds of the first period against Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2013 in New York City.
 

Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers scores at 19 seconds of the first period against Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets at Madison Square Garden on April 1, 2013 in New York City.

Photograph by: Bruce Bennett, Getty Images

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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