WINNIPEG — Three rallies weren’t enough to get the Winnipeg Jets a sixth straight victory Saturday afternoon at the MTS Centre.
The Jets’ five-game winning streak came to an end with a 5-4 shootout loss to the New York Islanders but the team was very focused on the silver lining after their 45th game of the season lifted them to 49 points in the Eastern Conference standings.
"It’s a point gained for me," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "We chased the game, It was a difficult game to play. We knew the opponent, they played the way we though. We struggled with them, I thought, in the first period, in some areas."
Winnipeg rallied from down 1-0, 3-1 and 4-3, getting a game-tying goal from Bryan Little on the power play with 2:01 to play, when Noel pulled goalie Ondrej Pavelec for the advantage-opening faceoff.
It took Little seven seconds to score on the advantage, just one of the many mercuric events at the MTS Centre on the afternoon.
The overtime, for instance, saw Jets defenceman Grant Clitsome hit the post and Islanders Lubomir Visnovsky stop Kyle Wellwood on that rebound when the net appeared open.
Pavelec, at the other end, stopped John Tavares on a point-blank chance and Andrew MacDonald whiffed the rebound.
In the shootout’s second round, Winnipeg’s Mike Santorelli hit the crossbar, then Brad Boyes scored for tthe Islanders. Jets captain Andrew Ladd kept the home team’s hopes alive with a goal in the third round.
Tavares, who failed to find the scoresheet on Saturday, scored the deciding shootout goal on the next shot.
The Jets fell four points back of New York, 53-49, in the standings.
"We’ll move forward and try to win the next game," Noel said. "Nothing’s changing there."
The Jets finished their season-long six-game homestand at 5-0-1, a mark Ladd pointed to after the game.
"Obviously we’d have liked to have come out of it with the two points but I"m sure if you’d have asked us at the start of the homestand if we went 5-0-1, if we’d take that," he said. "I’m sure everyone would have. We showed a lot of character finding a way to score that goal in the end and get a point and give ourselves a chance.
"The shootout is anybody’s guess. You put it to chance."
Winnipeg’s next game is Monday night in Buffalo.
John Tavares's goal in the shootout decided this afternoon's NHL game at the MTS Centre, giving the New York Islanders a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets.
New York's Brad Boyes and Winnipeg's Andrew Ladd had scored earlier in the shootout.
The result leaves the Jets with 49 points, one behind the eighth-seeded New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference. Winnipeg has three games to play, the Rangers four.
The Islanders are now at 53 points, four ahead of Winnipeg.
Winnipeg's Bryan Little sparked Winnipeg's third comeback of the afternoon, making the game 4-4 with just 2:01 to play with the Jets starting a power play and pulling goalie Ondrej Pavelec for an extra attacker.
Former Moose Michael Grabner's goal with 10:46 to play looked like it might be the winner until Little scored.
The result snapped the Jets' five-game winning streak and put a large crimp in Winnipeg's playoff plans.
Two goals by Kyle Wellwood have lifted the Winnipeg Jets out of a big hole and into a 3-3 tie with the New York Islanders through two periods at the MTS Centre today.
Wellwood scored at 10:27 and 13:24 of the second, bringing the Jets back from down 3-1. Matt Martin of the Islanders scored earlier in the second.
The game turned into a hotly contested one in the second, especially after New York's Kyle Okposo put a shoulder into the head of Jets defenceman Zach Bogosian without penalty early in the period.
The Winnipeg Jets have their hands full today at the MTS Centre, trailing the New York Islanders 2-1 through 20 minutes of the afternoon NHL game.
Frans Nielsen opened the scoring with his sixth goal of the season for the Islanders, but the Jets countered that with a goal by defenceman Zach Bogosian.
Josh Bailey's goal off the forecheck gave the visitors their 2-1 lead at 12:14.