The visiting Winnipeg Jets defeated the NY Islanders 3-2 at the Nassau Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum Wednesday night.
After returning home from a three-game road trip, where they didn’t win a single point, the NY Islanders were hoping to snap their losing streak, but instead with their loss to the Jets, marked the NY Islanders fourth-straight loss, and their ninth loss in eleven games.
After 20-minutes of play, with the game scoreless, both Winnipeg Jets Goaltender Al Montoya and NY Islanders Goaltender Kevin Poulin made big saves and kept their teams in the contest.
It wasn’t until 11.27 of the 2nd period, that Winnipeg’s Mark Stuart started the scoring. Stuart one-timed the puck, won off the face-off by teammate James Wright, and shot the puck through traffic, hitting the netting behind Poulin for a 1-0 lead.
Winnipeg’s scoring continued 3-minutes later, when a turnover in the neutral zone by Matt Donovan allowed the trio of Andrew Ladd, Blake Wheeler and Bryan little to breakout on a 3-2. After 2 passes on the breakout, Frans Nielsen left his man (Andrew Ladd) to cover Blake Wheeler in the slot, leaving Ladd wide open, Wheeler passed across to Ladd, where he buried a backhand behind Poulin tallying his 7th goal of the season at 14.39 for the 2-0 lead.
Winnipeg’s game winner came two-minutes later at 16.42, when the Jets had consistent pressure in the Islanders zone. Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele passed the puck to Keaton Ellerby at the blue-line, Ellerby one-timed the puck through traffic, where Devin Setoguchi standing in the slot, at the top of the circles, redirected the puck half way through it’s travel. The deflection’s change in direction was too much for Poulin and wound up in the back of the net for the 3rd-goal of the period and gave Winnipeg the 3-0 lead.
With Winnipeg having a 3-goal advantage, the Islanders pushed the pace and got a power-play after Winnipeg’s Olli Jokinen boarded NY’s Aaron Ness. After the Islanders gained the zone on the power-play, John Tavares dished the puck to Thomas Vanek who passed over to a wide open Andrew MacDonald on the left point, MacDonald blasted a slap shot through multiple screens and beat Al Montoya’s glove, to close the 2nd period, 3-1 Winnipeg.
With the Islanders still well behind in the third period, NY tallied their second goal after a great individual effort by John Tavares at 14.01. Matt Carkner started the play off by chipping the puck just beyond the blue-line, where John Tavares picked up the puck. Tavares then drove to the net, and held off Winnipeg’s Tobias Enstrom, before shooting a wrist shot to the far post, just past the blocker of Al Montoya to make the score 3-2.
Even though the moment shifted to the Islanders in the 3rd-period, loosing a man to a late hooking penalty by Pierre-Marc Bouchard at 17.44 disrupted the comeback. The Islanders skated off the ice disappointed, as Al Montoya stood victoriously with his arms in the air after beating his former team 3-2 in regulation.
NY falls to 8-14-3, while Winnipeg improves to 12-11-4.
The Islanders will play the Red Wings at Nassau Coliseum Friday, and the Winnipeg Jets will continue their road trip in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center on Friday as well.
Three Stars of the Game
1) Andrew Ladd
2) Devin Setoguchi
3) Andrew MacDonald