By Carter Brooks
Photo by James Carey Lauder
For the first time in the 2018-19 season, the Winnipeg Jets have won four-straight games. On Tuesday night the visitors wrapped up a three-game road trip through New York with a 3-1 victory over the Islanders.
It may not have been a 'prototypical' Jets game, but the results certainly spoke for themselves at the Barclays Center in New York Tuesday. Already down defencemen Dustin Byfuglien, Dmitry Kulikov and Joe Morrow, Josh Morrissey also deemed himself unable to play following warmup, providing the Jets with yet another fresh face on the back end, as Nelson Nogier joined Cameron Schilling, Sami Niku, Jacob Trouba, Ben Chiarot and Tyler Myers as Winnipeg's six blueliners.
The opening 40 minutes was played without a single goal, before the Jets and Islanders combined for three goals in just 2:28 in the third period. After opening the final frame with the two teams deadlocked at zeros, Winnipeg found itself up 2-1 just five minutes after puck drop.
Following Anders Lee's opening goal of the game for New York 1:33 into the third period, a Jacob Trouba point shot found its way past Thomas Greiss before Adam Lowry pounced on a rebound just 22 seconds later, giving the Jets their first lead of the game. Although battling the odd penalty and disappointing icing call here and there, Winnipeg hung on the duration of the final frame, relying on shutdown defence from their recent American Hockey League call ups.
Following the early strikes, the second half of the third period flew by, as the teams went a full 9:48 without a whistle until Nikolaj Ehlers collected his fourth goal in seven games into the empty net, sealing the deal for Winnipeg with just a couple seconds left in the game.
Jacob Trouba played just north of 28 minutes, while putting up his fifth point in four games since Dustin Byfuglien went down with a concussion. Trouba's third goal of the year matched his season total from 2017-18, in which he put up three markers in 55 games. Captain Blake Wheeler assisted on Trouba's goal, extending his point streak to six games, in which he has 10 points in that span.
Tuesday's win marked just the fifth time that netminder Connor Hellebuyck had allowed just one or fewer goals this season, as he picked up 27 saves for his 12th win of the year. The goaltender has recently faced some criticism on his inability to fully perform, but quieted all the critics with a handful of point-blank saves in the game's final period.
Winnipeg has now moved to 17-8-2 on the season, while improving its road record to 8-5. The Jets' three wins on the road are coupled with their 6-5 home victory over the Chicago Blackhawks from last Thursday, giving Winnipeg it's first four-game winning streak of the year.
The Jets now return home to Bell MTS Place for a four-game homestand beginning with a Central Division matchup against the St. Louis Blues Friday evening. The Jets will then face the Philadelphia Flyers, Chicago Blackhawks and Edmonton Oilers over the next week at home. Puck drop for Friday's game is set for 7:00 P.M. central, while the game can be viewed live on TSN3.