Free Press ★★★
★ Mark Stuart, defenceman, Jets: Contributions are infrequent, at least offensively, and this one was key. Also plus-three.
★★ John Tavares, centre, Islanders: It’s clear on most nights, like Wednesday, who the Islanders’ best player is.
★★★ Devin Setoguchi, right-winger, Jets: What looked like a harmless redirect ended up being the winning goal. It’s the kind of stuff the Jets hoped they’d acquired when they traded for him last summer.
Jets 3 at Islanders 2
Penalties -- Jokinen Wpg (interference) 10:39, Frolik Wpg (slashing) 16:16.
1. Winnipeg, Stuart 1 (Wright) 11:27
2. Winnipeg, Ladd 7 (Wheeler, Little) 14:39
3. Winnipeg, Setoguchi 6 (Ellerby, Scheifele) 16:42
4. N.Y. Islanders, MacDonald 2 (Vanek, Tavares) 17:49 (pp)
Penalties -- Jokinen Wpg (boarding) 17:07.
5. N.Y. Islanders, Tavares 11 (Carkner, Nelson) 14:01
Penalties -- Vanek NYI (tripping) 6:37, Trouba Wpg (hooking) 14:54, Bouchard NYI (hooking) 17:44.
Referees -- Kelly Sutherland, Darcy Burchell. Linesmen -- Derek Nansen, Matt MacPherson.
Attendance -- 12,008 (16,070).
The Jets made the numbers work in their favour in several ways on Wednesday. They're now 8-2-1 this season when scoring first. They've got a fine 6-1-1 mark against teams from the Eastern Conference. And much of that has come against the Metropolitan teams, as in 4-0-1 against them. And of note, Winnipeg's other two wins cross-conference have been against Detroit, not exactly one of that pack's doormats.
As of most of Wednesday's play, Jets defenceman Dustin Byfuglien's recent offensive outbursts have lifted him to tied for second in NHL scoring among defencemen. He's at 21 points, five back of Ottawa's Erik Karlsson.
Byfuglien and Karlsson are the only two defencemen with more than 100 points since the start of the 2011-12 season.
LIST IS SHORTER:
Courtesy of Elias Sports Bureau comes this interesting tidbit: Now that Ondrej Pavelec has reached 100 wins with the Jets/Atlanta franchise, that leaves just Tampa Bay and Columbus as the only teams without a goalie who has 100 franchise wins.
Jets at Philadelphia, Friday 10:30 a.m., TSN Jets, TSN1290.
-- Tim Campbell