Needing wins to stay close to the eighth place position in the eastern conference, the Winnipeg Jets could not find a way to get it done at the MTS Centre Tuesday, as the New York Islanders came away with a 3-1 win.
It was the fourth straight road win for the Isles, who have given up four goals in those wins.
Jets did get 38 shots at Evgeni Nabokov, their highest shot total in 10 games, but after getting five in Pittsburgh Saturday, the offense again dried up. The Jets had 16 shots in the first period but Chris Thorburn's third goal of the season was their only goal.
A power play goal by Matt Moulson tied it in the second, and an early third period goal by P.A. Parenteau took a lot out of the Jets. Matt Martin closed it with an empty netter.
"There was not a lot of life, not a lot of energy on the bench when they went ahead 2-1," said Coach Claude Noel post game. "This is going to be a true test of our character."
The game started a stretch of eight games in 14 days, and a stretch of nine of 10 at home. Meaning there will not be a lot of practice time and not a lot of time to regroup as the Jets play in Minnesota Thursday (TSN Jets, TSN 1290) before coming home for their 10th back to back of the season, playing Boston Friday: (TSN, TSN 1290).
That game starts eight straight at home.
The power play is a major concern. It went 0/3 vs the Islanders (the first power play chances the Jets have had against the Islanders this season. Islanders were not short handed in the first two meetings of the season.)
"The power play was demoralizing again, that's the story as of late." continued Coach Noel. "It doesn't give our team any life. We need some changes. Maybe get new guys out there." The power play has scored in three of the past 17 games.
Captain Andrew Ladd on a TSN Jets post game interview with Sara Orlesky called the power play "Embarrassing."
Evander Kane and Ladd both felt the execution needs to be better.
"If they have one guy on the puck, we need two, if they have two we need three," continued Ladd. "No excuses, it needs to be better."
"These are hard moments," continued Coach Noel. "This is what you call adversity, we'll see how we respond. I feel the players care, they care about winning. We'll see what we got."
There was a great chance for Johnny Oduya in the second but he fired a rolling puck high, Zach Bogosian hit the cross bar, Islanders blocked 16 shots including four from Dustin Byfuglien who had another five on goal and another four that went wide. Toby Enstrom had six shots on goal to lead the Jets.
Byfuglien lead in ice time at over 28 minutes.
The line of Kane, Alexander Burmistrov and Kyle Wellwood had a very good first period and did create some chances throughout the game, but at this time of the year it's all about results.
Wellwood took a puck to the face in the third and did not return.
Yes there is pressure to win, yes there is all the talk of possible trades, but this was a game the Jets needed to win. Just as it was a game the Islanders needed to win, and in this game the Islanders were the team that found a way to get it done.
Eric Fehr, Mark Flood and Randy Jones did not dress for the game. Expect Chris Mason to start in Minnesota.