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Isles defeat Jets 3-2 in OT

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Trevor Hagan / THE CANADIAN PRESS

New York Islanders' Michael Grabner (40) scores a game winning goal on Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (31) as Zach Bogosian (44) looks on, during overtime.

No one wants to bust up the feel-good thing the Winnipeg Jets have got going on right now. That would be like peeing in the punch bowl and popping the party balloons.

So, the spin late Tuesday night out of the Jets dressing room — not long after a 3-2 OT loss to an under-manned New York Islanders squad — was all about a late rally to grab a critical point.

 As for the point lost against a team that had lost four of its last five and was missing John Tavares (gone for the season), had scratched Thomas Vanek (expected to be traded) and had earlier in the day traded Andrew MacDonald?

Don’t even go there.

"It’s a point gained for us," said Mark Stuart. "We’ve got to grab them whenever we can. Now it’s just a matter of getting the next one and grabbing two."

"We were down by one goal going into the third... we’ll take it," added Olli Jokinen. "That could be a big point going forward. Overall we were a little bit tight, but this is the way things are going to be: all the teams are good and everybody wants to win."

That much was evident from the Islanders right from the opening puck drop. Despite being short-staffed and lacking some of its star power, the Isles got some big-time work from goaltender Anders Nilsson and some of their foot soldiers, especially the penalty-kill unit which completely stifled the Jets on five chances.

 

WHAT IT MEANS

The OT loss means the Jets are now 30-26-7, good for 67 points. That leaves them one back of the Dallas Stars, who fell 4-2 Tuesday to Columbus, but still hold the final Western Conference wild-card spot. The other bit of good news was the Nashville Predators, who are still in the Jets’ rear-view mirror, fell to Pittsburgh and are now five back of Winnipeg.

The Phoenix Coyotes, however, did knock off the Vancouver Canucks 1-0 and pulled into a tie with the Jets for 67 points.

 

UH-OH, MAN DOWN

Jets centre Mark Scheifele had to be helped off the ice midway through the second period after taking a hit on his knee from Isles’ defenceman Calvin de Haan. Paul Maurice said the rookie pivot — who has been so solid in the latter half of the season — will be further evaluated on Wednesday.

"We’ll have Mark tested (Wednesday) morning and get a real good understanding of what we’re dealing with," said Maurice. "I’m not going to speculate on what we think in terms of the length of this. We’ll know everything we need to know by the time we meet tomorrow."

Asked if he could still be available for Thursday’s game against Los Angeles, Maurice added: "If he goes in and it’s all clean and everything’s good, then there’s a chance. But the spectre is there now with what we think." And there’s more: Maurice said Chris Thorburn, who was in a first-period fight with Matt Martin and finished the game on the bench but was limited to 48 seconds of ice time, has an upper-body injury.

 

 OH CAPTAIN, THEIR CAPTAIN

Andrew Ladd was the best of the Jets, scoring his 16th and 17th goals of the season, including the critical game-tying marker with just 5:07 left on a breakaway.

Michael Grabner was the OT hero after splitting the Jets’ D to beat Ondrej Pavelec — the kind of defensive breakdowns that were far too prevalent all night — but, again, the message in the home-side clubhouse was all about the rally.

"We understand there are no easy games in this league," said Ladd. "I thought we were a little tight, in the first period especially. We got a little looser as the game went on and I thought we did a good job of getting it into overtime and getting a point.

"We’ll take the positive of getting one point and move on."

 

THE LAST WORD: BIG PICTURE VS. SMALL PICTURE

"We’ve played some darn fine hockey here," said Maurice. "We’ve had some stretches where our compete is what got us through it — the blocked shots. But tonight at the end of the day the execution with the hands and the feet wasn’t good enough to win the game. It was good enough to get a point.

"We’ll learn. We’re a young team and we’ll learn how to get better at that. That being said, we weren’t winning our last 21 games. We weren’t. Nobody is."

 

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

 

 

Live Winnipeg Jets Coverage Twitter bird

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: This ain't gonna be popular but if scheifele injury is extensive - #nhljets should be sellers tomorrow. He's too important and valuable 10:54 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Paul Maurice: Chris Thorburn has an upper-body injury. #NHLJets 10:07 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Paul Maurice: Mark Scheifele will be tested (Wednesday) morning after taking a hit on his knee. #NHLJets 10:04 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Michael Grabner splits #NHLJets D and beats Pavelec in OT for the Isles and the winner. Wpg gets a point, desperately needed two. 9:44 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets and Isles heading to OT. Wpg will pick up one point, can the grab the important second? 9:37 pm on Mar 4

  • DoubleEmMartin

    @DoubleEmMartin: Look, I'm not saying the 2nd #NHLJets goal is all me, just that they started playing gooder when I turned game on. Make of it what you will 9:30 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Andrew Ladd scores his second of the night with 5:07 remaining to tie the #NHLJets with Islanders. 9:27 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Keator on Stuart: "... that he wants to stay if a fair deal can be reached." #NHLJets 9:10 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets have surged, but only after some really poor defensive play put them down 2-1 after two to the Isles. 8:43 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Mark Scheifele in som pain after taking a hit on knee fr Calvin de Haan who gets two for tripping. 55 had to be helped off ice. #NHLJets 8:28 pm on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: can confirm the #nhljets have had discussions with Mark Stuart's agent Matt Keator about an extension for the veteran defenceman 8:20 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Anders Lee, who had 22 goals in the AHL before being recalled, has his third in four games for the Islanders, who now lead #NHLJets 2-1 8:10 pm on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: man would this be a bad game to lose #nhljets 8:07 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets and Isles tied 1-1 after 1. Two goals, two fights, Jenn Jones & Co drop puck to start. Decent start to this contest. 7:47 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Colin McDonald has tied the game for the Isles, hammering home a rebound off the end boards. 1-1 with #NHLJets 7:43 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Chris Thorburn and Matt Martin drop gloves. Thorburn is cut and heads to dressing room. #NHLJets 7:15 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Standing O for Jenn Jones, Jill Officer, Kaitlyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen. #NHLJets 7:06 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: #NHLJets starters: Ladd, Little, Frolik, Enstrom, Bogosian and Pavelec. Thomas Vanek scratched for NYI. 6:59 pm on Mar 4

  • RickRalphTSN

    @RickRalphTSN: Isles trade MacDonald, scratch Vanek, Tavares injured and third string goalie in vs #NHLJets tonight. 5:35 pm on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: sounds like the Isles will hold out Tomas Vanek tonight against #nhljets. Garth Snow taking lots of calls now 5:27 pm on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: names being kicked around by #nhljets and #nhlsharks. Jets - Chris Thorburn, Devin Setoguch. Tyler Kennedy, Adam Burish, James Sheppard 4:03 pm on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: Jen Jones and her #teamcanada will drop puck at tonight's #nhljets game 12:41 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Jenn Jones and her Olympic gold-medal foursome will take part in a ceremonial puck drop before tonight's #NHLJets and Isles game. 12:25 pm on Mar 4

  • WFPEdTait

    @WFPEdTait: Matt Halischuk in for James Wright tonight, confirms Paul Maurice. #NHLJets 11:27 am on Mar 4

  • garylawless

    @garylawless: i was a proponent of trading buff the d man, i don't know how #nhljets trade him now. productive power forward/pp specialist. huge value 8:44 am on Mar 4

History

Updated on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 7:46 PM CST: Changes headline

8:17 PM: Updates art, updates headline

9:11 PM: Updates art

9:32 PM: Updates headline

9:43 PM: Updates headline

10:11 PM: Updates art

10:14 PM: Updates with CP story

10:33 PM: Adds slideshow

11:13 PM: Updates with local story

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