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Photo Credit: © Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

JNGD.S8.G27 Recap: Jets Complete New York Trifecta With 3-1 Win Over Islanders

The Jets win their fourth straight game and third in four nights as the complete a tidy sweep of the New York teams with wins against the Devils, Rangers and tonight the New York Islanders.

Even more impressive is that the Jets won tonight missing Andrew Copp and more importantly their two best defenseman. Yes, Dustin Byfuglien was still out of the lineup with a concussion, but minutes before puck drop in Brooklyn, the Jets announced Josh Morrissey was going to sit out tonight’s game as well.

It was a test for a mostly inexperienced defensive group – three of the six players dressed combined for just 23 NHL games played going into tonight – and one they passed rather impressively if not without a bit of luck as well.

FIRST PERIOD

As far as road periods go, it was a pretty solid one for the Jets. Sure, they were out shot 8-3 but the Islanders really didn’t have any high danger scoring chances (NatrualStatTrick.com had New York’s HDSC total at just one) and the Jets motley crew of defensemen – sans Josh Morrissey who was a super late scratch – did a fine job of keeping the puck to the outside of the zone. It almost felt a lot like last year’s Jets defending.

The Jets had even fewer scoring chances than the Islanders thanks to New York’s strong defending and maybe the best chance the Jets has to score wasn’t even really a chance at all.

SECOND PERIOD

Again, all things considered for the Jets, 0-0 after 40 minutes was likely very fine with the road team and it wasn’t like it was absolutely boring hockey – we’ve seen enough hockey involving the Minnesota Wild to truly appreciate what boring hockey looks like – but with both teams defending the middle of their zones very well, scoring chances remained few and far between. This was maybe the most dangerous pair of chances the Islanders had in the 2nd period that Connor Hellebuyck made a pair of fine saves on.

THIRD PERIOD

1:33 in the Islanders opened up scoring as a breakdown in defense led to Anders Lee of the Isles being left all alone in front of the net with just Kyle Connor to try and help defend ans as much as we love KC, this is an obvious mismatch.

Any thoughts of this packing the Jets in for the night though were dashed as the power play – which if we’re being honest with ourselves was a bit on the pedestrian side of things tonight for Winnipeg – was given a chance to even things up and Jacob Trouba, who was filling in for Josh Morrissey on the top unit, who filled in for Dustin Byfuglien on the top unit, came through in a big way.

No apologies needed for that deflection goal. The Jets were going to take them any way they could get them.

And then the Jets third line did some work as well.

It’s almost a shame that Ben Chiarot doesn’t get an assist on this because he makes a nice little entry, dishes off to Perreault who has the puck for maybe a half a second before getting it to the front of the net where Tanev it looks like redirects it to Lowry who scores in his fourth straight game against the Islanders.

The Jets and Islanders then pretty much went to straight run time as nearly the final nine minutes were played without a whistle, and while New York did have chances to tie things up, the Jets defense – again, missing two of it’s best players – did an exceptional job of keeping scoring opportunities limited and clearing away any second chances.

Ok fine, they got a little lucky as well. Still, you have to feel really good for Connor Hellebuyck who NEEDED that kind of game in the worst way. 27 save effort, .964 save percentage and while he wasn’t given too many chances to add to his highlight reel, there were a couple of moments in tonight’s game where the Hellebuyck of a couple of weeks ago would have struggled to make a save. Tonight, he was full value for the win.

The Islanders pulled their goalie late and that was all Nik Ehlers needed to seal the deal.

THE BOXSCORE

 

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

For Winnipeg: Connor Hellebuyck – Just to reiterate… Hellebuyck NEEDED a game like this to get a little bit of the ol confidence back both from himself and the fans who started to actually wonder if Laurent Brossoit may be a better option. He is not. This team needs the Hellebuyck we saw tonight.

For New York: Anders Lee – The Isles captain is such a great net front presence and he was able to feast a bit on the Jets without Byfuglien or Morrissey to keep him in check. A goal and six shots on Hellebuyck.