National Hockey League
- Barclays Center PUCK DROP -
Winnipeg Jets
ML: WIN +107
NY Islanders Islanders
ML: NYI -118
Goalie Performance
Connor Hellebuyck
#37 G Connor Hellebuyck
Thomas Greiss
#1 G Thomas Greiss
0.931 SV% 27 SV
0.857 SV% 24 SV
Scoring Leaders
Bryan Little
#18 C Bryan Little Goals Assists 2 0
Nikolaj Ehlers
#27 LW Nikolaj Ehlers Goals Assists 0 2
Adam Lowry
#17 C Adam Lowry Goals Assists 1 0
Adam Pelech
#50 D Adam Pelech Goals Assists 1 0
Anders Lee
#27 LW Anders Lee Goals Assists 1 0
John Tavares
#91 C John Tavares Goals Assists 0 1

NEW YORK -- The Winnipeg Jets didn't think an unexpected day off earlier in the week did them any favors Thursday night. The New York Islanders certainly looked as if they would have been happy to take the day off the Jets didn't want.

Bryan Little scored twice in the first period to give the Jets a lead they wouldn't relinquish as they damaged the Islanders' playoff chances with a 4-2 win at Barclays Center.

The win snapped a four-game losing streak for the Jets, whose game Tuesday against the New Jersey Devils was postponed due to winter storm Stella. Winnipeg worked out at the Devils' practice facility Wednesday but got off to a slow start Thursday, when the Islanders took a 1-0 lead on Adam Pelech's goal just 38 seconds after faceoff and produced the game's first five shots.

"Just kind of weird last couple days for us, just the nature of the schedule, the nature of kind of being thrown off our routine a little bit," Jets right winger Blake Wheeler said. "I think it affected us the first five minutes."

The Islanders, on the other hand, could not maintain their early intensity. New York, which returned home from a franchise-record nine-game road trip early Sunday morning, lost to the Carolina Hurricanes 8-4 at Barclays on Monday before beating the bad weather out of town in time to head to Carolina and earn a 3-2 overtime win on Tuesday.

"We looked a little bit like a tired team mentally," interim Islanders head coach Doug Weight said, "We look like a team that's practiced twice in the last 25 days, to be honest with you."

Little's two goals, scored fewer than nine minutes apart in the first, provided the Jets momentum they rode throughout a dominant second period. Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry scored for Winnipeg, which outshot the Islanders 13-8 and had a potential third goal by Nic Petan overturned on review due to offside.

"At the start, looked like it was going to be a train wreck," Jets head coach Paul Maurice said. "But good on the lads. They got their feet underneath them. They started to keep the game a little simpler and then we got some speed going. I didn't think the extra day in the hotel was a benefit to us at all."

Anders Lee scored 62 seconds into the third period for the Islanders, who played most of the final 20 minutes in the Jets' zone but could not get any closer. Winnipeg goalie Connor Hellebuyck (27 saves) preserved the two-goal lead with a spectacular save about six minutes into the third, when he lunged across the goalmouth to glove a shot into the open corner of the net by Ryan Strome, who was so sure he'd scored he began celebrating.

"We worked at the end, guys played hard at the end, we had a lot of great chances to make it 4-3," Weight said. "Would have been fun to get the next goal (with) eight, nine minutes left and see what happens."

Instead, the Islanders (33-26-11) lost their grip on the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. New York began the day tied with the Tampa Bay Lightning but possessing the regulation/overtime wins tiebreaker.

Both teams fell one point behind the Toronto Maple Leafs, who beat the Lightning 5-0 to take over sole possession of the second wild card.

The Jets (31-33-7) hope the win over the Islanders is a sign of things to come as they embark upon a season-ending stretch in which 10 of their final 12 games are against teams that entered Thursday within five points of a playoff spot. Winnipeg is eight points behind the St. Louis Blues in the race for the Western Conference's second wild card berth.

"That's all we can do is try and win as many games as we can," Little said. "Obviously, we're going to be playing teams that are fighting for playoff spots. Nothing we can do but be a spoiler."

Goalie Thomas Greiss recorded 24 saves for the Islanders.

NOTES: The Islanders scratched D Johnny Boychuk (lower body) and LW Shane Prince (leg) as well as LW Anthony Beauvillier and D Scott Mayfield. Boychuk has missed the last seven games while Prince was sidelined for the fifth straight time. ... The Jets scratched D Toby Enstrom (concussion), C Shawn Matthias (upper body), G Ondrej Pavelec (knee surgery) and D Jacob Trouba (upper body). Pavelec hasn't played since Feb. 7 while Enstrom has missed the last three games and Matthias and Trouba each sat for the second straight time.
Top Game Performances
Winnipeg   NY Islanders
Bryan Little 2 Points Anders Lee 1
Bryan Little 2 Goals Anders Lee 1
Nikolaj Ehlers 2 Assists Nick Leddy 1
Bryan Little 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Connor Hellebuyck .931 Save Percentage Thomas Greiss .857
Connor Hellebuyck 27 Saves Thomas Greiss 24
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Winnipeg 28 4 1-5 4-4 8 21
NY Islanders 29 2 0-4 4-5 10 25
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game at home against Columbus. The Islanders have a W/L % of .424 after a win and .514 after a loss.
  • Winnipeg will play their next game at home against Minnesota. The Jets have a W/L % of .433 after a win and .439 after a loss.