Instant Recap: Winnipeg Jets defeat the New York Islanders on the strength of three late goals

Bruce Bennett

After trailing 4-2 midway through the third period, the Winnipeg Jets would rally for three straight goals, defeating the New York Islanders 5-4 in overtime.

Recap:

A game many fans likely considered to be a throw-away evolved into one of the more exciting match-ups of this early season as it took overtime for the Winnipeg Jets to defeat the New York Islanders by final score of 5-4.

The Isles would open the scoring early in the first period after David Ullstrom collected a Tobias Enstrom offensive-zone turnover and snapped a wrist shot past Al Montoya's glove hand.

Over the next two periods, Winnipeg would respond with two goals of their own -- Alexei Ponikarovsky's and Bryan Little both scoring their first of the year, giving the Jets a 2-1 lead heading into the third period.

Then the train came off the rails for the Jets.

The opening face-off of the third period left much to be desired as Tobias Enstrom blew a tire, leading to a John Tavares breakaway goal that knotted the score at 2-2.

Only minutes later, Matt Moulson would tip a Tavares point-shot past the unsuspecting Jets' goaltender, giving the Isles their second lead of the game. Then, just short of the midway mark of the period, Mark Streit ripped a powerplay bomb that deflected off Jim Slater and through a screened Montoya, who suffered the brunt of Winnipeg's defensive lapses all night.

Though down, the Jets were not out. David Ullstrom's hooking penalty shortly after Streit's 4-2 goal awoke Winnipeg's powerplay from their early doldrums. Dustin Byfuglien -- who has been an absolute rockstar early this season -- used his patented slapshot to quickly make it 4-3. Alexander Burmistrov would complete the comeback two minutes later, wristing a shot over Evgeni Nabokov's glove shoulder, tying the game once again and forcing overtime.

Tonight's extra frame would be a back-and-forth affair with both team's registering chances before Evander Kane deposited a Olli Jokinen rebound in the back on New York's net, cementing yet another victory for the Jets.

With the win, the Jets have now won three in a row and have collected points in their past four games, keeping pace with their white-hot divisional opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning.

From here, the Jets will head out back east to take on the Montreal Canadiens Tuesday night.

Eleven Thoughts:

  • It seems the Jets might have to rename the offensive zone to "The Bakery" because of all the turnovers generated in there. 3 such gaffes directly lead to New York goals, as a turnover and blown tire from Tobias Enstrom and a Grant "The Baker" Clitsome turnover lead to goals.
  • Al Montoya gave the Jets what they paid for: $600,000 worth of goaltending. It was not pretty, it was not overly effective, but in the end it got the job done and he somehow earned a win despite stopping just 21 of 25 shots. The Big Cubano has a long way to go before earning the trust of Jets fans and coaches alike after that performance.
  • Olli Jokinen finally got on the scoresheet, coming inches away from scoring the game winner, instead settling for linemate Evander Kane edging the puck across the line. At least I was told it crossed the line...
  • The big line of Blake Wheeler, Jokinen and Kane has all the right chemistry going right now, and the Jets can officially say they have a legitimate top line, not two second lines like they had going last year. Since coming together as a line in the second contest of the year, the line has 12 points in 4 games, with Kane leading the way with 3 goals and 3 assists.
  • I don't care what you say, but the only defensive pairing without a terrible gaffe on this night was Ron Hainsey and Mark Stuart, as uncharacteristic errors by Enstrom were capitalized on, and the pairing of Paul Postma and Grant Clitsome continues to produce heart problems in the YWG.
  • Nik Antropov won a foot race. Seconds later he had an assist on Bryan Little's goal. Scott Stevens just called, he says hell froze over.
  • The Jets dissapeared for a long stretch of the third period, and a one goal lead became a two goal deficit in a hurry. David Ullstrom's hooking penalty easily becomes the TSN Turning Point, as a goal on the power play by Buff, followed by some sweet dangles by Burmi 1:05 later tied this bad boy up and had the fans at the Phone Booth absolutely ravenous.
  • Evgeni Nabokov let in 5 goals, yes, but it easily should have been more. The scoring chances for the Jets piled up in the first two periods, but Nabby was equal to the task. On the other side, the Islanders capitalized on almost every chance the Jets gave them, making this game much closer than it needed to be.
  • Alexei Ponikarovsky and the rest of the third line generated offense, which is all you can ask of the third line. Burmi, Poni and Welly combined for a +5, while being sound defensively.
  • The Jets ability to win faceoffs this year has to be noted. They won 37 of 63 on the night, including some big ones on penalty kill which has to be commended.
  • Finally, I would like to send a personal message to the two guys who got up and left after the Islanders made it 4-2 with 10:07 to play: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! But seriously, don't come back. There are plenty of real fans chomping at the bit to go to these games, so don't waste space in an already small building.
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