Jets visit Islanders after epic comeback
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The New York Islanders lost Friday but know they'll win plenty of games by playing the type of style they employed in their season opener. The Winnipeg Jets won Friday but are aware they may have earned the flukiest victory of the young NHL season.
The Islanders will continue a three-game homestand Sunday night when they host the Jets at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.
Both teams were off Saturday after eventful games Friday night. The Islanders fell to the visiting Washington Capitals 2-1 while the Jets made history by coming back from a four-goal deficit to stun the host New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout.
The win marked just the second time in franchise history that the Jets overcame a four-goal deficit to earn a victory. Winnipeg also trailed the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 before winning 5-4 in overtime on Oct. 19, 2016.
On Friday, the Jets trailed 4-0 until Dmitry Kulikov ended the Devils' shutout bid with 11 seconds left in the second. Winnipeg then scored three goals -- one apiece by Jack Roslovic, Mathieu Perreault and Neal Pionk -- in a span of just under 10 minutes in the third to force overtime. Blake Wheeler scored the winning goal in the shootout.
"You handle your day and you handle where you are," Jets head coach Paul Maurice told reporters afterward. "We got ourselves behind it for sure. It was a big goal by Kulikov to put a little bit of a spin on that going into the third."
The Jets are the first NHL team to mount a four-goal comeback in a victory since the Anaheim Ducks stunned the Capitals 6-5 last Dec. 2. Winnipeg is the 32nd NHL team to win a road game in which it trailed by four goals or more.
"So it got pretty darn exciting at the end," Maurice said.
Coming off a season in which they allowed the fewest goals in the NHL, the Islanders played their usual brand of effective, if not spectacular, hockey against the Capitals. But New York could not get the equalizer after the Capitals' T.J. Oshie scored on the power play with 2:17 left in the second.
"All in all, it's a 2-1 hockey game, we just weren't able to get that extra one and tie it up," Islanders center Anders Lee told reporters afterward. "They did a good job, I thought, really stepping up and eliminating a lot of our opportunities. For the most part, I thought we did a pretty good job doing that to them. They got the power play goal."
The Islanders fell to 38-4-3 when allowing two goals or fewer in the regular season under second-year head coach Barry Trotz.
A pair of No. 1 goalies -- the Jets' Connor Hellebuyck and the Islanders' Semyon Varlamov -- are likely to oppose each other Sunday.
Hellebuyck sat out Friday after taking the loss in the season opener Thursday, when he stopped 26 shots as Winnipeg fell to the New York Rangers, 6-4. Varlamov made 26 saves but took the loss in his Islanders debut Friday night.
--Field Level Media
Updated October 5, 2019