Rangers pull out big win against Jets

Derek Stepan scored twice, including the winner in the third period, to lead the New York Rangers in a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets.

Ryan Callahan had a goal and three assists while Rick Nash added a goal and an assist for the Rangers, who were coming off consecutive shutout losses. Henrik Lundqvist stopped 26 shots in the win.

The victory gives the Rangers 37 points and they are tied with the Islanders for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Rangers have a game in hand.

Zach Bogosian and Nik Antropov scored for the Jets, who have dropped their past three games. Ondrej Pavelec gave up all four goals on 35 shots in the loss.

"We just couldn't keep playing the way we did to start the game," said Winnipeg forward Olli Jokinen. "They just kept pressing and pressing and we didn't respond to it."

Winnipeg still holds a four-point lead over Carolina for the top spot in the Southeast Division.

With the score tied in the third, the Blueshirts took a 3-2 lead at the 5:46 mark as Anton Stralman's left point shot was stopped, but the rebound popped out to the left and Stepan buried it for his 12th of the year.

Nash put the game away with 6:53 to play as he grabbed the puck in the neutral zone, danced down the right wing and buried a wrister into the left corner for his 13th of the season.

The Rangers came into the game having been blanked by Ottawa and Montreal, but scored just 19 seconds into this one when Stepan got one into the net from in front off a feed from Nash.

Winnipeg got the goal back just 56 seconds later when Kyle Wellwood threw a pass from the right side that hit off a Ranger before getting to Antropov, who snapped it in for his fifth of the year.

The Jets took a 2-1 lead with 7:06 to play in the first as Bogosian's slap shot from the high point hit off a Rangers and went into the net.

Winnipeg had an early 5-on-3 in the second period, but it was the Rangers that took advantage shortly after the first penalty expired.

Ryan McDonagh cleared the puck as Mats Zuccarello was coming out of the box. That created a 2-on-1 break that saw Callahan grab the puck, skate down the right wing and cut to the front before out-waiting the goaltender and lifting a backhand in from the left side to tie the game at the 3:11 mark.

"They fought real hard in the first and kept coming at us really strong in the second and third periods," said Lundqvist. "The really big thing for us tonight was the penalty kill and that shorthanded goal was huge."

Game Notes

New York hosts Pittsburgh for the front end of a home-and-home series on Wednesday ... The Jets stay in New York to face the Islanders on Tuesday ... The Jets took two of three from the Rangers this season ... The Jets failed on all five of their power play chances while the Rangers had just one and didn't score.