JETS 5, ISLANDERS 4 (OT) — Isles Lose Two-Goal Lead Late

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Kevin Schultz

The Islanders had a golden chance to win a game they didn’t quite deserve. After fending off the Winnipeg attack for much of the first two periods, the Islanders found themselves only down 2-1 entering the third period. From there they would rack up three goals in a row to take a 4-2 lead, only to see that lead washed away by the Jets in front of their raucous home crowd.

The Jets would score twice in the last eight minutes of the game to send it to overtime. A David Ullstrom hooking penalty — taken behind the Jets’ net on the forecheck no less — would lead to the Jets third goal of the game with about seven minutes to go (other than that, Ullstrom played well and had a goal that we mentioned earlier). Dustin Byfuglien would score on the ensuing power play and send the MTS Centre crowd into a frenzy. From there, the Jets had the momentum and you had the feeling that the Islanders weren’t out of the woods yet.

The Islanders have had issues with third period leads over the last two seasons, and that’s something that’s going to have to change. At some point, it cannot be excused away as youth or inexperience.

Regardless the cause, the result wouldn’t change tonight, as Alex Burmistrov caught the Islanders standing around, skated by them, and beat Evgeni Nabokov about a minute after Byfuglien’s goal to tie the game. Both teams would have chances late in the period. Andrew MacDonald fed a slap pass from the point to John Tavares in front of the net, but Tavares couldn’t handle the pass, as it looked like it took a deflection through traffic. Tavares did his share though, scoring a goal and two assists on the night.

The Jets would win in overtime off an Evander Kane rebound goal. Kane broke in with Olli Jokinen 2-on-1. Jokinen elected to shoot and was stopped by Nabokov, but with the Islanders caught up ice, Kane was able to finish the play before defender Thomas Hickey could break it up.

Next up for the Islanders is a trip to Pittsburgh on Tuesday for their only nationally televised game this season. Following that is a game in New Jersey on Thursday to finish up the five-game road swing. So far the Islanders are 1-1-1 on the trip. Another two points would make for a decent five points on what is certainly a tough road trip early in the season.