UNIONDALE, NY - Usually, players know before warm-up if they're playing in a game that night.
For Winnipeg Jets defenceman Carl Dahlstrom, that wasn't the case.
When Josh Morrissey held out for a precautionary reasons due to an upper-body injury sustained in the warm-up minutes prior to Sunday's game against the New York Islanders, Dahlstrom - claimed off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday - learned he'd be in the line-up.
Dahlstrom played 19:47 in his Jets debut, but it wasn't a memorable ending, as the Jets lost 4-1.
Video: WPG@NYI: Laine goes bar down for first of the season
"I was in the gym. It was five minutes before the game started. It was pretty hectic," said Dahlstrom, who stood for the anthems in the tunnel leading to the ice. "But it might be for the better. I'd like to touch a few pucks and get the legs going, but you have to play along. Now I'm in it."
Patrik Laine's first goal of the season was the only puck to beat Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss, as the Jets fell to 1-2-0 on the season.
Laurent Brossoit made several highlight reel stops - especially in the second period when his team was out shot 19-9. Still though, he wanted more.
"I felt okay. Not getting the win, and in that fashion by that many goals, it always stings," said Brossoit. "Regardless of how I felt I played, it's always about the wins."
With Morrissey out (day-to-day, as Maurice revealed after the game), Neal Pionk carried the majority of the load in terms of ice time on the back end. He played 23:32, including playing the point on the power play with the top unit of Laine, Mark Scheifele, Blake Wheeler, and Kyle Connor.
Video: WPG@NYI: Brossoit denies Komarov on break
Overall, Maurice is proud how his defensive group has embraced every challenge that has come their way.
"Ville Heinola only played 23 minutes tonight. He's only 18-years-old," Maurice said. "I'm really happy with him. Neal Pionk has been really good. Bitetto and Poolman are playing consecutively now in games. That's not something they've experienced in the NHL.
"Dmitry Kulikov playing his off side in the one pair. It's tough for these guys right now, but I think they've handled it really well."
After a scoreless first period, the Islanders started the second period on the power play and broke the tie. Josh Bailey found space in front of Brossoit and redirected a pass from Anthony Beauvillier past the Jets goaltender.
Just 2:47 later, Brock Nelson made it 2-0. When Ryan Pulock's shot was partially blocked by Nikolaj Ehlers, the loose puck went to Josh Bailey to Brossoit's left. Bailey quickly fed it to Nelson in the slot, where the Islanders forward beat Brossoit up high for his first of the season.
Then with 4:05 left in the period, a point shot from Scott Mayfield deflected off Islanders captain Anders Lee and got by Brossoit to increase the lead to 3-0.
"We had a bad couple minutes there in the second and it snowballed from there. LB had an outstanding game," said Wheeler. "He made some huge saves in the middle frame to give us a chance and we just couldn't do enough."
Before the end of the period though, Laine would get the Jets on the board. On his second shift with Scheifele and Wheeler, the Finnish forward took a pass from Wheeler and came up the right-wing side. He ripped a wrist shot just under the bar and in, giving him his first of the season, which cut the Islanders lead to 3-1.
Maurice gave some insight into why he switched Laine and Ehlers.
"So what that does is it lets Kyle play with some more speed with Nik Ehlers and they can come out in a different time in the rotation," said Maurice.
"I thought Mark Scheifele worked as hard as I've seen him work since the playoff games Blake always looks the way he does but Mark battled and competed. It's important in a game. It gets away from you, you've got some young guys back there, they need that kind of leadership. I thought those two worked incredibly well."
Connor had a great look to cut the deficit even further early in the third, but his chance off a stretch pass from Wheeler was stopped by Greiss. Later in the shift, Anthony Beauvillier picked up his own rebound and sent a backhand past Brossoit to make it 4-1.
Next up, the Jets finish the road trip against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday.