UNIONDALE, NY — It was hardly pulled straight from the pages a hockey textbook. In fact, there were some stretches where it might have been the perfect example of how NOT to play a National Hockey League road game.

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This article was published 28/10/2014 (2589 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

UNIONDALE, NY — It was hardly pulled straight from the pages a hockey textbook. In fact, there were some stretches where it might have been the perfect example of how NOT to play a National Hockey League road game.

And how to drive the men behind the bench absolutely bonkers in the process.

Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little (18) and Tobias Enstrom (39) tangle with New York Islanders' John Tavares (91) during first period NHL hockey action at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y. Tuesday.

TREVOR HAGAN / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS

Winnipeg Jets' Bryan Little (18) and Tobias Enstrom (39) tangle with New York Islanders' John Tavares (91) during first period NHL hockey action at Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, N.Y. Tuesday.

But if one of the early-challenges for the Winnipeg Jets was to score goals and find some resiliency, they flashed a lot of both in an all-over-the-place 4-3 win over the New York Islanders Tuesday at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The Jets survived an absolutely horrid first period, grabbed a 3-1 lead in the second, then gave it up before going ahead in the third and surviving a late onslaught from the league’s most-prolific offensive squad.

"We were a little late getting off the plane (figuratively), but we got it going there after," said Jets coach Paul Maurice, who saw his team improve to 4-5. "We got our feet moving after the first period and our power-play gave us some life and we responded well to them coming back on us and played our best hockey in the third."

Asked how his team managed to survive the first five or six minutes of the game, Maurice grinned then added: "We tired them out in our end."

Ba-dum, dum.

"They have a really quick team and they move the puck in transition quick," he said of the Islanders. "The mood was right, the energy was right, the legs just weren’t in town yet. That happens sometimes in your first game on a road trip. We’ve actually come out of the gate strong in most of our games. I think they knew they would get better and they did.

"They were saying the right things... their mouths were moving and their feet weren’t."

CHEAP SHOT=RALLYING POINT

Scary moment in the second when Mark Stuart was checked from behind by the Isles Nikolay Kulemin and crumpled into the sideboards head first. Stuart would return — Kulemin picked up a game misconduct — but while he was on the bench getting his neck examined the Jets power-play came to life with two goals on the five-man advantage to turn a 1-0 hole into a 2-1 lead.

"Sometimes something like that can fire you up quick," said Maurice.

Winnipeg’s power-play had been one for 2014-15 when Andrew Ladd and Paul Postma jammed a couple of greasy goals behind Jaroslav Halak. Later, Jacob Trouba would then beat the Slovak netminder with a softy for a 3-1 lead.

And then the Jets sat back and let the Isles counter-punch on goals by John Tavares and Mikhail Grabovski to end the second.

KEEP CALM AND LOOK TO THE CAPTAIN

Ladd picked up his second of the night and fourth of the season as the Jets’ top line came to life when it mattered in the third period. Michael Frolik and Bryan Little, who had three helpers, both picked up assists on the kind of goal the coach had been pushing for through an anemic offensive start to the season.

"Litts made a great play off the rush not trying to force anything and luckily enough it came right to my stick and I had an open cage," said Ladd. "Even our power-play goals were jamming at the puck in the front of the net and they found a way to go in."

"We hadn’t any of those, we weren’t giving ourselves a chance to have any of those goals," added Maurice. "Most of the good lucks that we’ve been getting, we missed the net or had them blocked. We’ll get the pretty goals. Eventually that stuff will come, but we’ve got to live on that other kind of goal for now."

THE BOGO EFFECT

The Jets were without Zach Bogosian, who was held out with an ‘upper-body’ injury and is on the trip but hasn’t skated in two days. The beneficiary of his absence was Postma, who moved up and was paired with Toby Enstrom and was steady. Not only did he score the Jets second goal, he played close to 20 minutes... but did spend a nervous two late in the third after pulling down Grabovski on a rush.

"That’s a tough one to take," said Postma of the penalty. "Obviously as I came to the bench I said sorry to the guys. I can’t let Grabovski behind me there, but the PK came to play when we needed it."

Interestingly, of Postma’s six career goals, three have come against the Isles.

"This is a fun rink to play in, it gets loud," said Postma. "And for some reason I get pucks to the net and they go in for me."

ed.tait@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @WFPEdTait

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