New York Islanders Control Game But Lose to Winnipeg Jets (Highlights)

ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 31: Goalie Connor Hellebuyck
ST PAUL, MN - OCTOBER 31: Goalie Connor Hellebuyck /

For forty minutes the New York Islanders controlled the game against the Winnipeg Jets. But still lost 4-2.

The New York Islanders already won the first meeting with the Winnipeg Jets in Brooklyn. It was  5-2 affair where the Islanders were dominant at home. Cut to the end of December where the Islanders head to Winnipeg. And the Isles are once again dominant, but can’t find a way to win.

The Winnipeg Jets are a good team. Especially at home. Before tonight the Jets held a 14-3-1 record at home. Only Vegas has a better home record. Make it 15-3-1 now.

Getting two points was going to be difficult. But coming out strong was going to be necessary. For most of the season, the New York Islanders have been terrible in the first period. If there’s one aspect of their game they need to fix, it’s how they start games. And tonight they came out flying.

Too bad they had no idea that Connor Hellebuyck was going to be an absolute wall out there.

Coming Out Strong

For forty minutes the New York Islanders held a 38-24 shot on goal advantage. They were dominant. They were all over the Jets. But goaltender Connor Hellebuyck stole the show. Stopping all 38 shots he faced in the first two frames.

But regardless of all that traffic directed to the Jets net, Winnipeg escaped the second period with a 2-1 lead. Winnipeg’s lead was cut down by Anders Lee and his 23rd goal of the season.

Within a few minutes of the third period, the Jets added a third. Jets rookie Kyle Connor gets his 12th. And the Isles seem to just get the win cut from their sails as they put six shots on goal in the third frame.

Adam Lowry would put in Winnipeg’s fourth at the 12-minute mark of the third on a power play.

Anders Lee would add a second and his 24th in the third period to cut the Jets lead to 4-2. With 24, Lee now sits tied at the top of the NHL in terms of goals with Alex Ovechkin and Nikita Kucherov.

After 60 minutes, Connor Hellebuyck finished with a .955 SV% stopping 42 of 44 shots against. If there was any reason the New York Islanders lost this game it’s him. Just look at this stop on Ladd on the doorstep.

Next: Cheap But Effective Third Line

The New York Islanders dropped points on the night even though they were on their game through 40 minutes. Not good for a division where three other teams below them are trying to get into the Isles playoff position.