(SportsNetwork.com) – The surprising New York Islanders will take aim at their
seventh win in nine games when they welcome the Winnipeg Jets for Tuesday’s
battle at Nassau Coliseum.
The Islanders are off to a 6-2 start in the franchise’s final season on Long
Island before moving operation to Brooklyn for the 2015-16 campaign. New York
didn’t win its seventh game last season until earning a victory over Nashville
in its 19th tilt on Nov. 12.
Jack Capuano’s club won its second straight tilt on Saturday, beating the
visiting Dallas Stars by a 7-5 count. Frans Nielsen’s third-period hat trick
helped the Islanders win the wild contest at the Coliseum.
With the game tied at 4-4 after two periods, Nielsen started his surge as he
finished a 2-on-1 rush with a goal at the 9:39 mark. He then received a pass
from Mikhail Grabovski on another 2-on-1 break and wristed the puck past
Anders Lindback for a 6-4 lead 5 1/2 minutes later.
Shawn Horcoff cut the deficit in half when he beat Chad Johnson only 23
seconds after Nielsen’s second tally, but the native of Denmark capped the
night on an empty netter with one-tenth of a second left.
Anders Lee, Nikolai Kulemin, Brock Nelson and Lubomir Visnovsky each added a
goal for New York, while Johnson made 26 saves in the win for the Metropolitan
“You get the two points however you win … but you can’t rely on scoring
(seven) goals,” Johnson said. “I want to be better and make some more saves.”
Although his team hit the net seven times against the Stars, Isles captain
John Tavares was held without a point for just the second time this season.
Tavares still leads the team with 11 points on three goals and eight assists.
New York is 3-1 as the home team this season. After capping a brief two-game
homestand tonight, the Isles will embark on a five-game road trip.
The Jets won for the second time in three games after beating the visiting
Colorado Avalanche in Sunday’s overtime battle. Bryan Little was credited with
the game-winning goal in OT to help Winnipeg record a 2-1 decision at MTS
Little was positioned in the low slot, where he deflected Andrew Ladd’s
backhander. The puck trickled through Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov and
across the goal line with 25 seconds remaining.
Ladd scored on a redirection in the first period for his 100th goal with the
Jets/Thrashers franchise. Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves as Winnipeg finished
its homestand with a 2-3-0 record.
“I liked the action we had around the net all night from all of our lines,”
Tuesday’s test kicks off a four-game road trip for the Jets, who are 1-2 as
the guest this season.
Winnipeg forward Evander Kane practiced for the first time Monday since
getting injured in the season opener. Although Kane joined the team on its
trip, he is not expected to play during the swing.
The Jets have lost three of four and six of their last eight games against the
Isles overall, but the club has four victories over its past six trips to Long