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(Saturday, April 20th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Winnipeg 4 (SO)
Winnipeg, MB (Sports Network) - John Tavares scored the game-winner in the third round of the shootout to lift the streaking New York Islanders to a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday at MTS Centre.
After the first three shooters came up empty, Brad Boyes got the Islanders on the board with a slick backhand-forehand move, but Andrew Ladd answered at the other end with a quick wrister past the stick-side of Evgeni Nabokov.
Tavares then skated in and slipped a wrister through the five-hole of Ondrej Pavelec to send the Islanders to their third straight victory.
Josh Bailey and Frans Nielsen each registered a goal and an assist, while Michael Grabner and Matt Martin also lit the lamp for the Islanders, who have registered at least one point in 10 straight games (8-0-2) to move into the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference with 53 points.
"In the last week of the season every win is big and where both teams are sitting in the standings, we knew what kind of game it was going to be like and a lot of momentum back both ways and we were happy we were able to pull it out after squandering a couple leads," Tavares said.
Kyle Wellwood potted a pair of goals, while Bryan Little and Zach Bogosian each scored once for Winnipeg, which had won five straight.
Despite the loss, the Jets moved within one point of the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East with 49 points.
Winnipeg still has hopes of clinching the Southeast Division, as the club trails the first-place Capitals by three points. The two teams will square off Tuesday in Washington after the Jets visit Buffalo on Monday.
The Isles held a 3-1 lead near the midpoint of the middle stanza before Wellwood netted a pair of goals in a 2:57 span to bring the Jets even.
Wellwood's first marker came at the 10:27 mark when he pounded home a rebound from the low right side. Under three minutes later, Grant Clitsome's chip in from his own zone sprang Wellwood on a breakaway before the New York center beat Nabokov high to the glove side at 13:24.
New York regained control near the midpoint of the third when Grabner buried a one-timer from in front at the 9:13 mark, but an interference call against New York defense Lubomir Visnovsky with 2:08 left proved costly, as the Jets cashed in just seven seconds later to even the score.
Pavelec left the net to give the Jets a 6-on-4, and after Winnipeg won the offensive zone faceoff, Ladd slid a pass from the low right side to Little, who stopped the puck with his skate before tickling the twine with a wrister from the low left side to tie the game and force an extra session.
Winnipeg nearly found the game-winner in overtime when a rebound off the post found Nabokov out of position, but Visnovsky made a diving save in the crease on a Wellwood shot to bail out his goaltender and keep the game tied.
"We got down 3-1 and I thought we battled back," Winnipeg coach Claude Noel said. "We chased the game and we battled back to tie it. So for me, it's a point that we gained."
Nielsen opened the scoring 4:21 in when he snuck a wrister under the pads of Pavelec from the low left circle, but the Jets answered just past the midpoint of the frame when Bogosian blasted a one-timer from the top of the right circle that beat Nabokov high to the far side at 10:42.
Bailey's 10th of the season restored New York's lead just 1:32 later before Martin's one-timer from the low left circle beat Pavelec to the short-side at the 9:47 mark of the second to give the Islanders a 3-1 lead.
Ladd extended his point streak to a career-high seven games ... New York's point streak is the club's longest since going 9-0-1 with a tie to open the 2001-02 season ... Pavelec posted 29 saves ... Nabokov finished with 24 saves ... The Jets wrapped up a six-game homestand at 5-0-1.
04/20 22:42:46 ET