Isles make inaugural visit to face Jets at MTS Centre
Tuesday, 12.20.2011 / 8:43 AMISLANDERS (10-14-6) at JETS (15-13-4)
TV: MSG PLUS 2, TSN-JETS
New York 5-3-2; Winnipeg 6-4-0
This is the second meeting of four between the Islanders and Jets this season. In their first and only meeting since the Jets' return to Winnipeg, the Jets shut out the Islanders, 3-0, on Nov. 3 on Long Island.
The Islanders are coming off of a big win against one of the League's top teams on Saturday night, which is momentum they will need to take on the Jets, who have lost just one game in the month of December.
The score might have been closer than the Islanders would have liked in Saturday's 2-1 shootout victory of the Minnesota Wild, but the overall performance was exactly what the team has been looking for.
"We did a lot of good things (Saturday)," coach Jack Capuano said. "It was a game they deserved to win."
The Islanders outshot the Wild, 24-9, in the first two periods and notched a total of 36 shots in the game which was decided by the lone shootout goal from Frans Nielsen.
"It would have been a tough loss if we didn't win tonight because I really liked the way we played," Nielsen said.
The Islanders were especially happy with improvements on defense as they rank in the League's bottom 10 for goals-against per game with an average of 3.17.
"I thought our D played much better," Capuano said. "We communicated well. We used each other, especially in our neutral zone on transition tonight, but our D played well in the D zone. Our angles, our sticks, our D zone coverage and our positioning was good tonight."
The Jets have won six out of eight games in the month of December, including a 5-3 victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. Despite what the scoreboard indicated, it was a close game and one the Jets had to work very hard to win.
"We got a win," coach Claude Noel said. "I wouldn't say it was the prettiest win, but we got a win. It was a hard game to play for our players. It was a hard, physical game, and it wore us down. There was a lot of pressure everywhere."
The win on Saturday means that the Jets have taken eight of their last 10 home games as they prepare to host the Islanders.
Matt Moulson is tied for the Islanders' lead in goals with 15 and he has notched 3 points in his last five games including an assist in Saturday's win. … Zach Bogosian
notched a 3-point night on Saturday with a goal and a pair of assists.
The Jets' Eric Fehr
(shoulder), Randy Jones
(upper body) and Nik Antropov
(foot) all are day-to-day. … The Islanders have been faced with a slew of injuries lately and are without forward Brian Rolston (concusion), defenseman Steve Staios (concusion), forward Jay Pandolfo (broken foot) and goalie Rick DiPietro (groin).
Saturday's shootout victory was the Islanders' first non-regulation win of the season.
This will be the first time since March 9, 1996 that the Islanders will play in Winnipeg. They won that game 4-2, with Eric Fichaud stopping 38 shots.