|5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)20:00 ET21:00 BRT, October 17, 2019
Bell MTS Place, Winnipeg, Manitoba Attendance: 15,063
Isles carry momentum into road clash with Jets
New York Islanders at Winnipeg Jets
- The Islanders have won their last two games against the Jets, including a 4-1 win in New York on October 6. New York has taken points in nine of their 10 trips to Winnipeg since the Jets moved there for the 2011-12 season, going 8-1-1 over that span (lone regulation loss: December 29, 2017).
- New York defeated St. Louis, 3-2, for its second straight win after losing three of the first four games this season. The Islanders have scored 3+ goals in both of their non-shootout wins this season and are 39-2-2 (.930) since the start of last season when scoring 3+ goals, the best record in the NHL in such games.
- Winnipeg lost to Arizona, 4-2, allowing the Coyotes to go 2-for-2 on the power play. The Jets have not allowed more than two power-play opportunities in any of their last nine games dating back to the final game of last season, the longest streak in franchise history.
- Anders Lee has 17 points (12g, 5a) in 13 career games against the Jets, including a goal in each of his last eight games vs. Winnipeg, the longest active streak by a skater against a single opponent. Only one skater has ever scored in nine straight games against the Jets/Thrashers franchise -- Phil Kessel, who did so in 10 straight from February 2011 to April 2014.
- Mark Scheifele scored a goal and added an assist in Tuesday's loss to Arizona, tying Patrik Laine for the team lead with 12 points (4g, 8a). The duo are the first Jets/Thrashers skaters to score 12+ points in the first eight team games of a season since Marian Hossa had 13 to start the 2006-07 season.
- Mathew Barzal has multiple takeaways in four of his six games this season, including two on Monday against the Blues. His 1.67 takeaways per game is tied for second in the NHL; only Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf (1.71) has more among players who have appeared in at least half of their teams' games this season.
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The New York Islanders bring a two-game winning streak to Winnipeg on Thursday night to face a Jets team trying to rebound from back-to-back losses to start a six-game homestand.
New York defeated the Florida Panthers, 3-2, in a shootout on Saturday and then followed that up with a dramatic 3-2 overtime victory over the St. Louis Blues on Monday.
The Islanders trailed that contest 2-0 with less than six minutes to go before getting goals by Brock Nelson and Mathew Barzal, the latter coming with 26.5 seconds left in regulation. Barzal, whose tying goal deflected in off the stick of Ryan O'Reilly, then set up Devon Toews for the game-winner at the 1:13 mark of OT.
"We didn't give up, we came out in the third and just stayed with it," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "Just stayed with it and were rewarded at the end. ... That was a really good test for us."
"Sometimes, as Barry would say, the hockey gods were in our favor tonight," Barzal added. "I got a lucky bounce on my goal. Obviously, that's crazy luck there, and that's how it goes sometimes. You get a bounce here or there and it sparks the group. The last five minutes we had great energy there. It was a roller coaster of a game."
Considering how it came against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, Trotz was asked if the comeback could end up being a signature win for his team looking back at the end of the season.
"We'll see where it is, we'll see our next game," Trotz said. "I mean, we can pat ourselves on the back today (and then) we can go into the next game and stink the joint out. We've done that before. The whole thing for me is let's just win the day, let's just win the game, win the week, and let's not look too far ahead."
Winnipeg, which had won four of its previous five games, comes in off home losses to Pittsburgh (7-2) on Sunday and Arizona (4-2) on Tuesday. The Coyotes snapped a 10-game losing streak to the Jets.
"We still have the majority of the season left, so I think we're still trying to establish ourselves and figure out our identity as a team," captain Blake Wheeler said. "We're very much a work in progress."
Wheeler said there was no need to push the panic button despite being outscored 11-4 in back-to-back home losses.
"We're a competitive group," said Wheeler. "We've come to work every single day since training camp, and that is a great thing to fall back on."
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice agreed with Wheeler that the Jets, who finished one point behind Nashville in the Central Division with 99 points last season, are still trying to establish their identity.
"Every team in the National Hockey League is right now," Maurice said. "We're so early. Teams that are on a hot streak are feeling pretty good. There's lots of hockey ahead of them. Teams that are .500 like us like parts of their game and don't like parts of their game. And all the teams that are under (.500) by a little bit don't like any part of their game. But it's early."
--Field Level Media
Updated October 16, 2019