Mark Scheifele scored twice to lift the Winnipeg Jets to a 4-1 season-opening victory over the New York Rangers on Friday.

Scheifele scored a first-period goal at even strength and then added a power-play marker at 18:23 of the third period.

New Jets forward Sam Gagner, who signed with the team Sept. 2, made it 2-1 at 15:35 in the third period. Kyle Connor added an empty-netter with 20 seconds left.

The game was supposed to be the debut of new Jets head coach Rick Bowness, but the team (1-0-0) announced earlier in the day that the 67-year-old had tested positive for COVID-19. Associate coach Scott Arneil ran the bench.

Dryden Hunt tied it 1-1 early in the third for the Rangers (2-1-0), who were playing the second game of a back-to-back set that began with a 7-3 victory on Thursday in Minnesota.

Connor Hellebuyck made 40 saves for Winnipeg. 

Jaroslav Halak stopped 30 shots for New York.

Jets winger Nikolaj Ehlers displayed his speed on Scheifele’s first goal.

Ehlers raced behind New York’s net, got the puck and sent a backhand pass up to Scheifele in the circle, who beat Halak at 10:29 of the first period.

A minute earlier, Hellebuyck showed his quickness with his blocker.

As Rangers forward Artemi Panarin came out of the penalty box for slashing, he grabbed a pass and went at Hellebuyck on a breakaway but his backhand shot was deflected.

The Jets outshot the visitors 13-10 in the opening period, but the tables turned in the second frame.

Hellebuyck had to stop 21 shots in the second with Halak only needing to turn aside seven.

The Winnipeg netminder made a snapping glove save on Alexis Lafreniere and had plenty of traffic around him when New York went on the power play with 3:02 left in the period.

On the other end, Halak denied a Scheifele one-timer and New York broke up a Winnipeg three-on-one surge.

Hunt tied it at 3:55 of the third after he controlled a pass from Trocheck that hit his skate, moved the puck to his stick and beat Hellebuyck from the right side of the net. Panarin also picked up an assist.


The New York Rangers' new captain Jacob Trouba played his 600th career NHL game against the team that drafted him in 2012 (ninth overall).

Trouba, who played 408 games with the Jets before being traded to the Rangers in June 2019, was booed early in the game by some fans when he had the puck.

NOTES: Panarin now has a goal and five assists through three games. The last Rangers player to record five or more assists through the same span were Mark Messier and Brian Leetch in 1992-93 … The Lady Byng Trophy, which Kyle Connor won last season, was in Canada Life Centre so fans could take photos with it.


The Jets embark on a three-game road trip, starting Monday against Bowness’s former team, the Dallas Stars. The Rangers return home for four straight games, beginning with a Monday match against the Anaheim Ducks.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2022.