Winnipeg scores four at home to double up ISlanders 4-2
The Winnipeg Jets have improved their record to 29-10-4 and now move right back into first-place in the entire NHL, thanks to a 4-2 win over the visiting New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Kyle Connor returned to Winnipeg's lineup, while the other Connor made 36 saves on the night, picking up his 22nd victory of the season, moving to just two wins of the league leader Alexander Georgiev.
Gabe Vilardi scored for Jets in the opening frame, before Neal Pionk and Mason Appleton added goals in the second. The first of the two came off one of the wildest plays seen at Canada Life Centre in recent memory. Islanders' goaltender Ilya Sorokin lost his skate blade and was deemed useless, but the play carried on, so the Jets moved the puck around the perimeter and eventually outwaited the sliding goaltender before Pionk put it right down the middle.
Appleton called his goal greasy - which it was, but it held as the winner, as New York got one back in the third period.
Connor put the puck into the empty net with just over a minute remaining, putting the cherry on top of his early return to action following a right MCL sprain.
Winnipeg now hits the road for three games before returning to Canada Life Centre to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on January 27.
The extended photo library from Tuesday's game vs. New York is courtesy of Scott Stroh and James Carey Lauder:
Mason Appleton on his goal drought:
“It can be tough. It’s not always in my job description. But I had a hot start to the year scoring and then you go on a stretch like that and you’re maybe gripping it a bit. It was funny, I was just aimlessly shooting pucks in the net after practice yesterday and Arniel came up to me and was like, “just take a breath, get around the net, it’ll happen for you,” so it was just nice to see one go in. My game is not always dictated on points and this and that, but I found a way to be an effective player even when I’m not scoring goals, but every player needs to score here and there, depending on your role. It was nice to have t
hat go in.”
Cole Perfetti on the Neal Pionk goal:
That was a weird one. I didn't even know. Until I saw Neal shoot the puck in the empty net. When I was coming downhill, the goalie was actually in the net, in the right spot. And then when I passed it across, I guess it was his right blade so he couldn't slide over. I didn't even realize, but it worked out well. Lucky bounce.
Next up, the Jets hit the road for three-straight games out East, as they do battle with the Ottawa Senators, Boston Bruins and Toronto Maple Leafs before heading back home for the second half of a drawn out home-and-home with the Leafs on January 27.