The New York Islanders were looking to get back into the Win column after going 2-8 in their last 10 games, and the Winnipeg Jets looked like the team to do it against: The Islanders are 5-2-0 against them all-time. The Jets had other ideas, however, and coming off their most complete win of the game in New Jersey, they were ready to make it two wins in a row.
The Jets survived a mediocre first period, in which the Islanders were the recipients of more quality chances. After a Winnipeg penalty, the Islanders were pressing, and continued that offensive pressure throughout another power-play, and the rest of the period. Andrew McDonald had the best opportunity of the frame, when his shot hit the post, but both teams would head into the room scoreless. Shots after 1 period were 13-11 New York.
Back-and-forth play kicked off the second period, but Winnipeg were the first team to get on the board. Mark Stuart, in his second game back from a hip injury, scored his second of the year to give the Jets the lead. Just over 3 minutes later, Jets captain Andrew Ladd added to the Jets advantage, scoring a pretty goal after a nice passing play courtesy of Blake Wheeler and Bryan Little. Keaton Ellerby‘s point shot was deflected by Devin Setoguchi 2 minutes later, and in a span of 6:15, Winnipeg built a 3-0 lead. The Jets wouldn’t get out of the period unscathed, however, as McDonald finally found the net on the power-play for his second goal of the season. The Jets lead the period in shots 11-7, and took their second two-goal lead into the third period in two games.
The Jets went out trying to contain the Islanders’ offense in the third, and did a respectable job, holding New York to 10 shots in the frame, many of which were not quality opportunities. Two New York penalties would hamper their offense, but John Tavares wouldn’t be denied, scoring with 6 minutes remaining to cut the lead to one goal. The Islanders tried to get it done late in the game with the goalie pulled, but it was not meant to be, and Winnipeg took the game, 3-1.
The Jets got big games from their biggest players on Wednesday night:
Dustin Byfuglien logged 25:42 of ice time in the win, and was held off the score-sheet despite his team-leading four shots.
Andrew Ladd was named the game’s First Star, after scoring his seventh goal of the season.
Al Montoya was solid in the goal, saving 28 of 30 for his third win of the season.
The Jets are back to .500% on the road this season (5-5-1), and are above .500% overall, with a 12-11-4 record. They will be in Philadelphia on Friday for the earliest game in the NHL this season, a 10:30 start time for the American Thanksgiving. The ‘Islanders will continue a four-game home stand with a game against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday.
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