John Tavares, Ryan Strome lead Islanders past Jets, 6-2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) A lot of New York Islanders got into the act – at the Winnipeg Jets’ expense.
John Tavares and Ryan Strome each had a goal and an assist to help the Islanders beat the Jets 6-2 on Saturday night. Nikolay Kulemin, Shane Prince, Anders Lee and Andrew Ladd also scored, Josh Bailey and Brock Nelson each had two assists, and Thomas Greiss made 32 saves.
”You can’t always rely on one or two guys. Everybody’s got to chip in,” Greiss said. ”It was a great example today and made the game easy for us.”
The Islanders have won four of their last five to get to .500 at 15-15-6.
Shawn Matthias scored a short-handed goal and Nikolaj Ehlers had a power-play tally for Winnipeg.
”It’s pretty self-explanatory,” Jets captain Blake Wheeler said. ”It wasn’t good enough and the score was indicative of that.”
Connor Hellebuyck allowed four goals on 15 shots and was replaced by Michael Hutchinson with 5:47 left in the second period. Hutchinson made seven stops in relief.
”That effort level tonight out there wasn’t acceptable and definitely (is) something that needs to be addressed,” Winnipeg’s Mark Scheifele said. ”At the end of the day, that’s what it is, it’s hard work. Battling through adversity. Battling through all the stuff that goes on in a game.
”Not every shift is going to go as planned, but for us, we need to battle through it, every bump and bruise, every miscue during the game and support each other that way.”
New York rebounded from a 6-4 loss to Minnesota on Thursday night.
”We’ve been slowly chipping away and doing some better things,” Tavares said. ”We’ve still kind of let some things get away from us . . . We’ve got to, obviously, really make up some ground. Obviously, you can’t do it in one day or one week, so one game at a time.”
The Islanders had a 2-0 lead after the first period and were ahead 4-0 late in the second.
Kulemin scored unassisted after his shot’s rebound popped back to him at 6:54 of the first period.
Josh Bailey stripped the puck from a Jets defender and sent a short pass up to Tavares at the front of the net for the team captain’s high shot and 11th goal of the season at 12:25.
The Islanders went up 3-0 at 2:26 after Strome skated behind Winnipeg’s net with the puck and sent it out to Prince for his fifth of the season.
The Jets had the game’s first power play a few minutes later with Tavares in the penalty box for holding, but they couldn’t get a shot on goal.
Ten seconds after another Winnipeg power play expired – with one shot on goal – Strome fired the puck through Helleybuyck’s pads to make it 4-0 at 14:13. Helleybuyck was replaced by Hutchinson to cheers from the crowd.
With Dustin Byfuglien in the box for roughing, defenseman Jacob Trouba passed the puck from behind the net to Matthias, who beat Greiss over the glove with 30 seconds left in the second. Winnipeg has been outscored 52-25 in the second period this season.
Lee scored his 14th of the season with a redirection while he had only one hand on his stick at 8:38 of the third. Less than two minutes later, Ladd slapped in his eighth.
Ehlers’ 10th of the season came at 16:55 with Tavares off for hooking.
Islanders: At Colorado on Friday night.
Jets: Open three-game trip Tuesday night against Tampa Bay.