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Islanders edge Jets for first win at Barclays Center

by David Satriano

NEW YORK -- John Tavares had a goal and two assists and the New York Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 at Barclays Center on Monday.

Ryan Strome, Brock Nelson and Josh Bailey also scored for the Islanders (1-1-1), who won their first regular-season game in Brooklyn after losing their opener Friday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Thomas Greiss made 22 saves.

The Islanders scored twice on six power-play chances in the game and dominated the first period getting the first nine shots including seven on an early power play. New York outshot the Jets 16-6, and had 10 shots on four power-play opportunities in the first.

"You want to take advantage of your chances when you get that many power-play opportunities," Tavares said. "I think it's crucial not only to generate momentum but you want to put the puck in the net."

Strome scored a power-play goal with 12 seconds left in the first period to open the scoring. Kyle Okposo's shot from the slot went wide of the net and the rebound came right to Strome at the side of the net.

The Jets (2-1-0) didn't get a shot until 9:33 into the first period when forward Bryan Little had a breakaway and his backhander was stopped by Greiss.

"I think overall our whole game [was better]" Tavares said, "Obviously our power play was able to generate some momentum from it. We got a lot of power plays because we were working hard. I think that's a key for us. We seemed to be a little more in sync. Certainly to get the first win here. It's not only nice to get that here but [the first win] to start the season and we want to take advantage of being at home this week."

Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec made 40 saves. Mark Scheifele and Dustin Byfuglien scored their goals.

"[Pavelec] kept us in it. We were lucky to be down only 1-0 after one [period]," Little said. "We came out flat and they were really hungry."

Winnipeg was shorthanded a League-high 308 times last season.

"We took too many penalties, and that's very tough against a team like the Islanders," Pavelec said. "They had a lot of time on the power play. We picked up a little bit in the third [period]; I thought in the third we were OK."

Nelson made it 2-0 at 6:46 of the second period. New York had a 3-on-1 and Nelson took a shot from the right side with Tavares and Mikhail Grabovski skating into the zone with him.

"We played Islanders hockey," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "From the drop of the puck, we dominated the hockey game."

Tavares scored a power-play goal at 10:45 of the second period assisted by Anders Lee and Marek Zidlicky. Tavares, who assisted on the goals by Strome and Nelson, beat Pavelec with a shot from the right circle.

"Happy to get the win. It's not the easiest when you don't see many shots," Greiss said. "There was no real flow to it because we had so many shots and there were so many whistles."

Scheifele scored his third goal in three games for the Jets with 4:19 remaining in the second on a snap shot from the slot to make it 3-1. Byfuglien scored a power-play goal at 11:52 of the third. The shot hit Boychuk's stick and deflected past Greiss.

Tavares had a chance to give the Islanders a two-goal lead, but missed a penalty shot with 2:15 left. Bailey added an empty-netter with 19 seconds left to make it 4-2.

"I think sometimes when you are playing really well and don't get rewarded it can be a little disheartening, so it was good to get that first goal," Bailey said.

The Jets won their first two games of the season, each on the road, by a combined score of 9-3.

"We've played well enough to win two of our three games, but not well enough to win today," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "They skated better than we did. They were faster to the puck than we were, and they held it longer. This was a faster game than the first two, but we weren't."


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