The Winnipeg Jets wanted to make it three in a row and they got their wish after winning a hard fought 5-4 OT battle with the NY Islanders Sunday night.
The Islanders opened the scoring in the first period but Alexei Ponikarovsky answered back with his first goal in a Jets uniform. Bryan Little scored in the second period putting the Jets on top heading into the final frame.
John Tavares, Matt Moulson and Mark Streit all tallied goals for the Islanders before the halfway point of the period but the Jets would battle back and claw their way back into the game after goals from Dustin Byfuglien and Alex Burmistrov.
Evander Kane would prove to be the game-winner as he tapped home a shot from Olli Jokinen at 1:59 of overtime. The Jets improve to 3-1-1 with the win and will hit the road tomorrow for a three game road trip starting in Montreal on Tuesday.
The Islanders got on the board early, 2:34 into the period after David Ullstrom stole a costly Jets turnover at the blueline and charged the net. He dodged around his defender and released a wrist shot that beat Montoya. 1-0 Isles.
The visitors also took the game's first penalty as Colin McDonald went to the box for slashing at 5:13. The Jets were able to get a couple of shots on the power play but couldn't beat Nabokov.
The Jets tied the game at 10:15 thanks to a goal by Alexei Ponikarovsky. Toby Enstrom started the play blasting a slap shot from the point. Kyle Wellwood picked up the puck behind the net after Enstrom's shot sailed wide. He quickly wrapped around the net to connect with Ponikarovsky in the slot. 1-1.
With five seconds remaining in the period, Matt Carkner took a boarding penalty after a big hit on Evander Kane. A little bit of pushing and shoving came after that between Kane and Travis Hamonic but they were broken up quickly.
Shots after 20 minutes were 12-6 for the Jets.
Bryan Little added to the scoreboard for the Jets at 5:13 of the middle frame after completing a nice tic-tac-toe play. Andrew Ladd dug the puck out from behind the net, dished it to an open Nik Antropov to the right of the net. He turned and flipped a nice pass onto the tape of Little in the slot who put it away, 2-1 Jets.
The Jets kept the pressure on throughout the rest of the period and although they didn't add any more goals, it showed on the shot clock. After 40 minutes, the home team was on top 23-15.
John Tavares tied things up just 22 seconds into the final period after a turnover in the neutral zone. Frans Nielsen got the puck and saw a seam directly to Tavares breaking up centre ice. Tavares made no mistake putting it top shelf to tie the game early.
Matt Moulson made it 3-2 at 5:09 with a nice tip off of a Tavares shot from the point.
Things went from bad to worse for the Jets in third period. With Chris Thorburn in the box for tripping near the midway mark, Mark Streit blasted a shot from the point that found it's way through some crazy traffic and past Montoya. 4-2 Isles.
Dustin Byfuglien pulled the Jets within one on the power play as he unleashed a hard slap shot from the point. Byfuglien's third goal of the season as assisted by Wheeler and Kane.
Seconds later, Alex Burmistrov tied things up on a beautiful play. He took control of the puck just inside the Isles' zone, danced around two checks in the circle, and released a snap shot that squeaked by Nabokov's shoulder glove side. Time would expire with the score tied and it would take overtime to earn the extra point.
It took 1:59 of 4-on-4 for the Jets to earn the extra point as Evander Kane net the game winner. Olli Jokinen started the rush after Ron Hainsey dished him the puck. With full speed, he raced up ice and into the Islanders zone, with Kane with him. He took a look and decided to release a hard shot that didn't quite beat Nabokov. Kane was there to tap home the trickling puck to seal the deal for a 5-4 victory.
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