Islanders 5, Jets 4, SO

Associated Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) - The schedule may have said Game 45, but it felt like the playoffs for John Tavares.

And when the Islanders' young star scored the winner in a 5-4 shootout victory, New York put a serious dent in the Winnipeg Jets' playoff hopes.

"It's April. There's a team right behind us. There's a lot on the line," said Tavares. "I think we knew it would have a playoff atmosphere. You could sense it in the locker room before the game, and during the game."

Tavares and Brad Boyes both beat Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec in the shootout, while Winnipeg captain Andrew Ladd replied against Evgeni Nabokov.

The win briefly lifted the Islanders into a tie with Toronto for fifth place in the Eastern Conference with 53 points, but the Leafs moved back ahead by two points with a 4-1 victory over Ottawa. The Senators trail the Islanders by a point.

"Good two points for us," Isles head coach Jack Capuano said. "It was loud, it was a great atmosphere and it was one of the quickest games I've been involved in, so it was a track meet for sure."

The Jets have 49 points and are now a point back of the eighth-place New York Rangers, who were idle Saturday but have a game in hand.

Winnipeg heads on the road for games against Buffalo on Monday and a key Tuesday matchup with the Southeast Division-leading Washington Capitals (50 points), who played in Montreal on Saturday night.

Nabokov made 24 saves, while Pavelec faced 33 shots as the Jets' winning streak stopped at five games.

There was plenty of nail-biting for the sellout crowd, with New York ahead 2-1 after the first period and the score tied 3-3 heading to the third.

Michael Grabner redirected an Andrew McDonald feed past Pavelec to give New York a 4-3 lead at 9:13, but Bryan Little tied it with 2:01 left - seven seconds after Islanders defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky was called for interference. Little made a head's up move on the play. A rebound sent the puck toward his left skate and he kicked it over to his stick before beating Nabokov.

"It was an emotional game," Little said. "We put everything we had into it and kept fighting our way back into the game."

The Islanders got a goal and assist each from Frans Nielsen and Josh Bailey, while Matt Martin also scored. Kyle Okposo and Visnovsky both chipped in with a pair of assists.

Kyle Wellwood scored a pair of goals for Winnipeg, while Zach Bogosian, who left the game late in the third after a heavy hit, added the other.

"It was just a team effort," Okposo said. "It was a really good hockey game, a playoff-type atmosphere, I think. There were a lot of momentum swings throughout the game."

Jets head coach Claude Noel found a positive in the Jets gaining a point.

"I think it's a point gained for me," he said. "We chased the game. It was a difficult game to play. We knew the opponent; they played the way we thought."

Noel had pulled Pavelec as soon as Visnovsky got called for interference with 2:08 left in the third.

"They pull their goalie, they win a faceoff, they score," Capuano said. "I mean, that's a good team, that's one of the best teams that we've played all year."

Notes: The Islanders are 17-3-3 this season when scoring first. ... Winnipeg F Olli Jokinen left the ice after his first shift of the game with what the Jets called a lower-body injury. ... New York continues its road trip at Carolina on Tuesday.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
04:21NYI Frans Nielsen (6) ASST: Kyle Okposo (17), Josh Bailey (8) 1 - 0 NYI
10:42WPG Zach Bogosian (5) ASST: Blake Wheeler (22), Andrew Ladd (27) 1 - 1 Tie
12:14NYI Josh Bailey (10) ASST: Kyle Okposo (18), Frans Nielsen (22) 2 - 1 NYI
2nd Period
09:47NYI Matt Martin (4) ASST: Jesse Joensuu (2), Lubomir Visnovsky (10) 3 - 1 NYI
10:27WPG Kyle Wellwood (5) ASST: Evander Kane (16), James Wright (2) 3 - 2 NYI
13:24WPG Kyle Wellwood (6) ASST: Grant Clitsome (11) 3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
09:13NYI Michael Grabner (16) ASST: Colin McDonald (10), Lubomir Visnovsky (11) 4 - 3 NYI
17:59WPG PPG - Bryan Little (7) ASST: Andrew Ladd (28), Grant Clitsome (12) 4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
1WPGBlake Wheeler - Missed
2NYIFrans Nielsen - Save
3WPGMike Santorelli - Missed
4NYIBrad Boyes - Goal
5WPGAndrew Ladd - Goal
6NYIJohn Tavares - Goal
Shootout Summary
RNDWinnipeg JetsNew York Islanders
1Blake WheelerFrans Nielsen
2Mike SantorelliBrad Boyes
3Andrew LaddJohn Tavares
Three Stars of the Game
Bryan Little
Bryan Little
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 1
PTS: 1PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 25:37
Frans Nielsen
Frans Nielsen
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 18:51
Kyle Wellwood
Kyle Wellwood
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 0TOI: 14:06
Penalty Summary
1st Period
05:01WPG Grant Clitsome  Hooking against  Matt Moulson
15:19WPG Evander Kane  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
2nd Period
00:46WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Tripping against  John Tavares
15:40WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Slashing against  Kyle Okposo
18:04NYI Kyle Okposo  Roughing against  Zach Bogosian
18:04WPG Zach Bogosian  Roughing against  Kyle Okposo
18:04NYI Josh Bailey  Hooking against  Blake Wheeler
19:12NYI Matt Martin  Roughing against  Blake Wheeler
19:12WPG Blake Wheeler  Roughing against  Matt Martin
19:45NYI Michael Grabner  Concealing puck
3rd Period
17:52NYI Lubomir Visnovsky  Interference against  Eric Tangradi
OT Period
04:58WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Interference on goalkeeper against  Evgeni Nabokov
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/51/3
Faceoff Wins3529
Blocked Shots1625
Penalty Minutes1014
2M. StreitD0001020:24
3T. HamonicD0005026:10
6J. JoensuuL011109:41
10K. AucoinC0021011:06
11L. VisnovskyD0210222:53
12J. BaileyR1112218:22
13C. McDonaldR0110012:25
14T. HickeyD0001019:26
17M. MartinL1011210:30
21K. OkposoR0213217:44
24B. BoyesR00-20020:09
26M. MoulsonL00-22020:37
37B. StraitD0011015:56
40M. GrabnerR1013212:52
47A. MacDonaldD0000025:07
51F. NielsenC1104018:51
53C. CizikasC0012010:50
91J. TavaresC00-26023:20
20E. Nabokov2428.85764:30
4P. PostmaD00-10015:40
5M. StuartD00-10018:51
6R. HainseyD00-11027:37
8A. BurmistrovC00-32018:42
9E. KaneL01-12222:32
12O. JokinenC00-1000:48
13K. WellwoodC2002014:06
15M. SantorelliC00-22013:43
16A. LaddL0211026:47
17J. WrightC0121013:51
18B. LittleC1012025:37
21A. GagnonC000006:15
22C. ThorburnR000003:41
24G. ClitsomeD0224225:22
26B. WheelerR0114222:58
27E. TangradiL00-11012:39
33D. ByfuglienD00-23624:24
44Z. BogosianD1013218:32
31O. Pavelec2933.87964:53