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GAMEDAY: Jets at Islanders

6:00 pm CT - TV: SN; Radio: TSN 1290

by Mitchell Clinton @MitchellClinton /

UNIONDALE, NY - There is one thing in particular that Winnipeg Jets head coach Paul Maurice is looking forward to in tonight's match-up against the New York Islanders.

A playing style similar to what the Jets see in the Western Conference.

"It's the style we'd like," Maurice said. "There is definitely a difference in the East. If you were watching hockey last night and you watch Toronto and Montreal then flipped over to Dallas and St. Louis, you'd think it was two different sports. The Islanders are a little more of a Western Conference style. They'll grind the game a bit harder for teams to get pucks to the net and there won't be as much flow."

Video: PREGAME | Patrik Laine

Last season, the Islanders surrendered the fewest goals in the NHL with 191 - the only team to allow less than 200. While a number of games in the league this early in the season are seeing high scores, the Islanders lost their season opener 2-1 to the Washington Capitals.

The Jets (1-1-0) will go with the same line-up tonight as they had in the 5-4 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils on Friday, including Laurent Brossoit in goal.

"I really liked his game. After they made it 4-0, I don't know if (goals) three and four he loved. He made a couple of really big saves after," said Maurice. "That gave us the chance to mount the comeback. I really liked his camp and he's been solid. He's had a day off back-to-back, I thought he was the right guy to go."

The rest of the Jets lines will look like this:








Patrik Laine has an assist in each of the first two games of the season and seven shots on goal total.

He's seen the Islanders defensively and knows nothing will come easy offensively.

"Just play a full 60. That's going to be big tonight. They're always good at home. It will be a tough game for us after the back-to-back. Keep our shifts short, play hard and simple."

Video: PREGAME | Mark Letestu

As the old saying goes, 'patience is a virtue,' and Mark Letestu says that will be top of mind for the Jets tonight.

"When you talk about patience, that has to be the game. You can't get frustrated with not having a lot of flow through the neutral zone," said Letestu. "We have a plan tonight, hopefully stick to it and get a result. Teams like this, they start to capitalize when you start to take those chances and open it up for more offence."

The four-goal comeback against the Devils was the first time in franchise history the Jets had erased such a deficit on the road.

It's also a way for Letestu to bond with his new team.

"It's something you can draw back on," he said. "The team showed good resolve. That's easily a game at the start of the year where we could have just gone away. But guys dug in, battled, and got a result."

They'll look to do the same tonight inside NYCB Live - formerly known as the Nassau Coliseum.

Each time the Jets have visited the Islanders the last three seasons, the game has been at Barclays Center. 

The return to the old rink gave Maurice a bit of a nostalgic feeling on game day.

"I'm glad we're playing here. I enjoy being here," he said. "They've made some changes down here and changed the seats. It's a lot different than 25 years ago. It'll be a good crowd."


Bryan Little joined his team for the morning skate wearing a golden non-contact jersey on Sunday.

He's been out with a concussion he sustained one week ago in the preseason finale against the Minnesota Wild.

"You get him out there with a lot of traffic and motion and see how he feels," said Maurice. "He's moved closer, but I don't think he's ready for (Pittsburgh) because he'd need more than one full contact practice. We'll get him through at least one or two more in the gold."

-Mitchell Clinton,

Game Notes

The Winnipeg Jets visit the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum tomorrow in the third game of a four-game, season opening road trip...The Jets are 1-1-0 on the road trip after coming back to beat the New Jersey Devils 5-4 in a shootout on Friday night...Winnipeg finishes the trip on Tuesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins before returning to Bell MTS Place for the Jets home opener on Thursday against the Minnesota Wild.

Last Game

Oct. 4 at NJD - 5-4 SOW

Jets Scorers: Kulikov (1), Roslovic (1), Perreault (1), Pionk (1), Wheeler (SO)

Devils Scorers: Gusev (1), Coleman (1, 2), Vatanen (2)

Jets Goaltender: Brossoit (35 sv, 4 ga)

Devils Goaltenders: Schneider (19 sv, 2 ga), Blackwood (7 sv, 2 ga)

Jets PP: 0-for-2

Jets PK: 2-for-2

Recap: The Winnipeg Jets trailed 4-0 before Dmitry Kulikov scored with 11 seconds left in the second period to spark a four-goal comeback and 5-4 Jets shootout win...Jack Roslovic, Mathieu Perreault and Neal Pionk scored for the Jets in the third period to send the game to overtime...New Jersey's Nikita Gusev and Winnipeg's Kyle Connor exchanged goals in the first round of the shootout before Blake Wheeler ended the game for the Jets in the fourth round of the shootout...Laurent Brossoit made 35 saves in his season debut, including turning away the 13 shots he faced in the third period and overtime.

Three Stars: 1. Wheeler 2. Coleman 3. Pionk


Third Stanza

The Jets have scored four goals in the third period of their two games this season, which leads the NHL...Last season the Jets were fifth in the NHL with 102 third-period goals for an average of 1.24 per game...The third period was Winnipeg's most productive last season as well, as they scored 85 goals in first periods and 76 goals second periods.

Comeback Kids

Friday's win was the first time in franchise history the Jets have come back from being four goals down when playing on the road...The last time the Jets came back from a four-goal deficit was Oct. 19/16 in a 5-4 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs...The Jets have trailed first in each of their first two games to start the season...Last season the Jets had 18 wins when trailing first, which was second in the NHL behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (23).

Facing Eastward

Jets went 18-12-2 against Eastern Conference teams last season, including 11-5-0 against the Metropolitan Division and 7-7-2 against the Atlantic Division...Blake Wheeler (10G, 28A) led the Jets with 38 points in 32 games against the Eastern Conference last season, while Mark Schiefele had 36 points (18G, 18A) in 32 games.

Road Trippin'

The Jets went 8-7-1 in games that were a part of a four-game road trip last season...The Jets had four four-game trips and won two games on each trip.

Defensive Offence

Four of the six defenceman that have played in the first two games for the Jets have a point this season and three of the four have two points in two games...Neal Pionk had the game-tying goal and assist on Friday for his first two points as a member of the Jets, while Dmitry Kulikov scored his first goal in 72 games on Friday and had an assist on opening night...Eighteen-year-old Ville Heinola has an assist in each of the first two games for his first career NHL points...The seven points Jets defencemen have this season is third in the NHL...The defensive unit has accounted for 30.4% of Winnipeg's points this season, compared to 25.6% last season, which was seventh in the NHL.


While captain Blake Wheeler was officially kept off the scoresheet on Friday, he scored the game-winning goal in the shootout and was one of four players to lead the Jets with three shots in the game...Wheeler had two goals on opening night and leads the Jets with 12 shots this season...He's been selected to the three stars in both games...Since relocation, Wheeler leads the Jets in scoring with 571 points (187G, 384A) in 618 games.

Flying Dane

Nikolaj Ehlers has a share of the NHL lead in assists with four in the first two games of the season...Ehlers is already a quarter of the way to matching the 16 assists he had last season in 62 games and is bouncing back from the career low 0.26 assists per game he had last season.

At the Dot

Mark Scheifele has taken 35.6% of Winnipeg's face-offs this season and is second in the NHL with 21 face-off wins...He's won 51.2% of his 41 draws this season after having a 46.3% face-off winning percentage last season.

How the Jets Were Built

Drafted (14) - Appleton, Connor, Copp, Ehlers, Gustafsson, Heinola, Hellebuyck, Laine, Little, Lowry, Morrissey, Poolman, Scheifele, Roslovic

Trade (3) - Beaulieu, Pionk, Wheeler

Free Agency (6) - Bitetto, Bourque, Brossoit, Kulikov, Letestu, Perreault

Waivers (1) - Dahlstrom

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