Little scores twice, Hellebuyck solid as Winnipeg Jets beat New York Islanders 4-2
Bryan Little scored twice, Connor Hellebuyck made 27 saves and the Winnipeg Jets beat the New York Islanders 4-2 on Thursday night to snap a four-game skid.
Mathieu Perreault and Adam Lowry also scored for the rested Jets, who had their game Tuesday in Newark, New Jersey, against the Devils postponed because of a snowstorm.
Little scored twice in the first period after Islanders defenceman Adam Pelech opened the scoring 38 seconds in. Perreault and Lowry each scored in the second.
The Jets came into the game 0-3-1 in their last four games and 2-8-2 against Metropolitan Division opponents this season. Winnipeg had also lost four straight to the Islanders.
But after Pelech scored his second goal of the season on a floating shot that eluded Hellebuyck, the Islanders couldn’t capitalize on momentum generated by their 3-2 comeback win in overtime at Carolina on Tuesday a night after they lost 8-4 at home to the Hurricanes.
Little tied it at 9:22 after Nikolaj Ehlers’ shot hit the post to the right of goalie Thomas Greiss. Little was there to tap in the rebound.
Little scored again on the power play at 18:35. After John Tavares overskated the puck, Jets forward Nic Petan recovered it and passed to Little who rifled the puck past Greiss for his 20th goal of the season. Ehlers also assisted.
The home team’s play was uninspired to start the second and the Jets took advantage when Perreault made it 3-1 at 3:24. Perreault’s eighth goal of the season was assisted by Jets captain Blake Wheeler and Mark Scheifele.
Lowry increased the lead to 4-1 with his 12th goal of the season at 11:31.
The Jets dominated the middle period, outshooting the Islanders 13-8 as the Barclays Center crowd of 13,700 grew restless and began booing the home team, which was playing their third game in four nights following a nine-game trip.
Early in the third, Islanders forward Anders Lee scored his career-high 26th goal at 1:02, sweeping the puck past Hellebuyck from the slot to narrow the deficit to 4-2.
But Hellebuyck held his ground the rest of the way for his 23rd win of the season.
With 12 games remaining, the Islanders (33-26-11) are battling Toronto and Tampa Bay in a tight race for the final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
New York is 16-9-3 under interim coach Doug Weight, who took over from Jack Capuano on Jan. 17.
© 2017 The Associated Press