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Rangers end opening road trip on winning note

Brad Richards, Michael Del Zotto, Blake Wheeler

New York Rangers forward Brad Richards (19) and Michael Del Zotto (4) keep Winnipeg Jets forward Blake Wheeler (26) off the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Winnipeg, Manitoba, on Monday, Oct. 24, 2011. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, John Woods)


It wasn’t always pretty, but the New York Rangers ended their well-traveled seven game road trip with a 2-1 win over the Winnipeg Jets tonight. They’ll have a chance to rest up at home now, with six games in a row at Madison Square Garden starting Thursday.

Historically speaking, the Rangers are used to being displaced from MSG for long periods of time. The circus (and the circus that can often be the New York Knicks) ranks as one of the attractions that can disrupt the hockey - or at least leave a funky smell at the rink.

This time around, alterations to the arena itself kept them on an extended road trip to start the season. Here’s a look at how their first seven games played out.

Oct. 7 and Oct. 8: back-to-back games in Stockholm, Sweden (against the Kings and Ducks)
Oct. 15: at Islanders
Oct. 18: at Canucks
Oct. 20: at Flames
Oct. 22: at Oilers
Oct. 24: at Jets

The Rangers basically traveled to Sweden, Long Island and then Western Canada (plus Winnipeg) to start the 2011-12 season. They finished a passable 3-2-2 for eight points in seven games, placing them third in the Atlantic Division (with both the Devils and Islanders right behind them) at this moment.

Sure, they might have “sucked from head to toe” a couple times along the way, but the Rangers stayed afloat and now find themselves with a big opportunity. We’ll see if they can take advantage starting on Thursday.