March 3rd, 2024

Hellebuyck helps Jets knock off Islanders 4-2

By Judy Owen, The Canadian Press on January 16, 2024.

New York Islanders goaltender Ilya Sorokin (30) makes a save as Winnipeg Jets' Vladislav Namestnikov (7) jumps out of the way of the shot during the second period of NHL action in Winnipeg on Tuesday Jan. 16, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade

WINNIPEG – Kyle Connor scored an empty-net goal after a 16-game absence and Mason Appleton snapped a 25-game scoring drought to help the Winnipeg Jets get back to their winning ways with a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday.

Gabriel Vilardi and Neal Pionk also scored for the Jets (29-10-4), who had an eight-game win streak and 14-game point run halted last Saturday by a 2-0 loss to Philadelphia.

Connor Hellebuyck made 35 saves for Winnipeg in front of 12,600 fans at Canada Life Centre.

Anders Lee scored twice for the Islanders, who were coming off a 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Monday.

Ilya Sorokin stopped 40 shots for New York, which is 1-5-0 in its last six matches and 2-5-1 during the month of January.

Winnipeg is still riding a franchise record for consecutive games of allowing three or fewer goals, which is now up to 33. The NHL record in the modern era (since 1967) is 35 by the Minnesota Wild in 2014-15.

The Jets have also only allowed two or fewer goals in a franchise-record 13 straight games.

Winnipeg, which wrapped up a four-game homestand with a 3-1-0 record, received good news the morning of the game when Connor returned to action following a knee-on-knee hit by Ducks forward Ryan Strome in Anaheim on Dec. 10. The winger returned a week earlier than the initial six- to eight-week estimate. He had 19:01 of ice time.

The score was tied 1-1 after the first period and Winnipeg led 3-1 heading into the third.

Josh Morrissey’s point shot started Winnipeg’s first scoring sequence. Adam Lowry tipped the puck and then Vilardi deflected it past Sorokin at 9:41.

Lee tied it two seconds after an Islanders’ power play expired when he tipped in a Mike Reilly shot at 15:53.

Pionk’s power-play goal at 15:19 could be blamed on Sorokin’s equipment, not the goalie’s effort.

Jets forward Cole Perfetti fired a shot at the net, but the puck hit Sorokin’s right skate blade and blew the blade off.

Pionk then took a pass from Nate Schmidt and shot it into the open side of the net because Sorokin couldn’t push over.

Appleton scored his seventh goal of the season at 17:58 with a shot that went by the post and bounced in off Sorokin’s pad.

Lee made it 3-2 just 35 seconds into the third when his shot banked in off Hellebuyck.

Connor scored his 18th goal of the season into an empty net with 1:22 remaining.


Jets centre Mark Scheifele missed his second straight game with a lower-body injury. “¦ The Islanders are 0-3-3 in the back half of back-to-back games this season. “¦ New York went into the game winning its past seven matches against Winnipeg.


Islanders: Finish a four-game road trip Friday in Chicago against the Blackhawks.

Jets: Head out for a three-game road trip starting Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 16, 2024.

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