Just about the time the New York Rangers think they are in position to win the Patrick Division, they take an unexpected jolt.
Monday night, they surprised the Calgary Flames, the best team in the Smythe Division, and moved into first place.
The Rangers couldn’t stand prosperity. They took on Winnipeg, the worst team in the Smythe Division, Wednesday night and were beaten, 6-3, in New York.
The Rangers were in front, 2-1, after a period, but the Jets, who are all but out of the playoffs, scored three times in the second period to take command.
Thomas Steen and Andrew McBain each scored twice as the Jets won for the 23rd time in 61 games.
A victory would have put the Rangers in a tie with Washington for first place and in a good position to win it all. But now, with only eight games remaining, they are two points behind the Capitals and only one ahead of Pittsburgh.
The lack of a power play hurt the Rangers in this one. They had nine opportunities when the Jets were a man short, but against rookie goalie Bob Essensa, they converted only once.
On the other hand, the Jets had five chances to score with a man advantage and succeeded on four of them----two each by Steen and McBain.
Detroit 8, Edmonton 6--There are many in the NHL who think that the Red Wings’ Steve Yzerman is the league’s most valuable player.
The Kings would probably agree after his performance at Edmonton. Yzerman scored twice and assisted on four others as the Red Wings overcame a 6-3 deficit to win.
The loss prevented the Oilers from tying the Kings for second place in the Smythe Division.
The Kings are two points ahead with eight games remaining. The Oilers only have six games left.