New York Rangers
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Artemi Panarin and the New York Rangers overpower the Winnipeg Jets, 6-4, in an offensive thriller in the season opener.

  • New York Rangers 6 (1-0-0)
  • Winnipeg Jets 4 (0-1-0)
  • NHL, Final, Box Score
  • Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

David Quinn is fuming. Well, technically, there is no evidence to suggest such a heavy emotion on the part of the New York Rangers head coach, but for those paying attention, it’s obvious.

The Blueshirts’ defensive effort five-on-five and on the penalty kill on Thursday night was porous, at best. In the end, however, a win is a win and thanks to Brett Howden’s tally at 15:51 of the third period, Quinn’s Rangers prevailed.

The blue-collar goal broke a 4-4 tie and provided New York with its fourth lead of the game. Every time the home team scored, Winnipeg answered.

Twice, Jets stud Blake Wheeler stunned the Madison Square Garden crowd after Rangers goals. He first did it just 30 seconds after Artemi Panarin’s first goal on Broadway and then again, later in the period, just nine seconds after Jacob Trouba’s first with his new club.

Speaking of the Bread Man, his power-play snipe gave the Rangers a short-lived 2-1 lead early in the second.

As for Trouba, three points (one goal, two assists) on opening night should be deemed as acceptable.

The night featured high-flying offense and goal-scoring of the highest order. It also featured an old goalie who looked a step slow at every turn.

Henrik Lundqvist finished with 43 saves on 47 shots. On Wheeler’s second, The King looked like anything but his nickname. While he did look slow at times, on a few occasions, Lundqvist came up huge.

Marc Staal opened the scoring with a wraparound in the Stephane Matteau spot.

The man who finished with No. 1 star honors, Mika Zibanejad, finished with a goal and two helpers. His goal in the third period came as the clutch one of the night, pulling the Rangers even (4-4) at the only time they trailed in the game.

Next up for the 1-0-0 Rangers will be the Senators in Ottawa this Saturday night.

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