Jets try to inch closer in East race as they face Isles
ISLANDERS (23-24-8) at JETS (26-25-6)
TV: MSG PLUS 2, TSN-JETS
New York 5-3-2; Winnipeg 4-5-1
This is the third of four meetings between the teams, with the road team winning each of the first two matchups. Most recently, PA Parenteau had a goal in regulation and the game-deciding goal Dec. 20 in a 3-2 shootout win for the Islanders in Winnipeg.
The Jets have won two of their last three to pull within four points of a playoff spot. Can they keep the good play going?
Parenteau is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, and while he'd like to stay with the team, the 29-year-old forward understands the business of the game.
"This contract is going to be my only big one left," Parenteau told Newsday. "I want to make sure I'll be paid at my value. Having said that, I love it here and I've said all along I'd love to stay here."
GM Garth Snow told the newspaper he's had only preliminary discussions with Parenteau's agent, Allan Walsh.
With his team so close to making a charge into the top eight in the Eastern Conference, Winnipeg coach Claude Noel was perplexed by the effort he saw from his team in an 8-5 loss to the Penguins on Saturday.
"It is perplexing to a degree," Noel said Monday, "but I think I understand it, so I'm trying to solve it."
The hope is a long stretch of home games coming up -- including Tuesday, the Jets will play 12 of their next 15 games at home -- will push the team back on the right track.
"The disappointing thing for me is that we're at the hump," Noel said, "and we can't get over the hump. I keep trying to push us over the hump. But we can't, and that is the frustrating thing for me, trying to get over that hump, and that is the challenge."
In 19 games since the calendar flipped to 2012, Islanders forward Kyle Okposo has 15 points. In 33 games in the 2011 portion of the schedule, he had 15 points. … Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien
has had a goal and an assist in two straight games.
The Islanders are missing two defensemen, Travis Hamonic (face) and Dylan Reese (knee), as well as center Marty Reasoner (thumb). … The Jets are icing a fully healthy team.
The Islanders started the week with the ninth-best power play in the League (19.3 percent) and the ninth-best penalty killing (84.2 percent).
So just how did Islanders forward Frans Nielsen learn about his new contract last week? From the Flyers' Scott Hartnell.
Nielsen agreed to a four-year extension with the Isles on Tuesday, prior to their game in Philadelphia. When Hartnell stepped in for a faceoff with Nielsen, Nielsen told Newsday Hartnell offered a congratulations.
"He goes, 'Why aren't you smiling? You should be smiling,'" Nielsen told Newsday. "I asked why and he said he saw the email (from the NHLPA announcing the terms of the deal) and told me it was done. Kind of strange, but it's good news, you know, so I didn't mind hearing it from him."