On a day highlighted by trade talk, the Islanders escaped on the ice and prevailed in overtime after blowing another 3rd period lead. The Vanek trade is still the number 1 story in Islanders nation, but this was a great way to have some fun while Garth and company look to get a deal done.
In their last home game til March 4th a familiar recent script was played out again. The Hawks dominate forty minutes only to fade in the third period and lose the game. Unfortunately this time they could not even push the Winnipeg Jets to overtime or a shoot out.
There is no question the Hawks look tired and maybe a little bored. The Olympic break cannot get here quick enough or maybe road life will help to rejuvenate the struggling Hawks.
The lone Hawks tally came in the first period from Brandon Bollig. He was wrapping around the Jets’ net and as he was falling down somehow shot the puck and squeezed it past the Jets’ goalie Al Montoya and the near post.
The Blackhawks started off strong in Winnipeg on Thursday night: commanding on the dot, strong defensively, and leading 1-0 after the first from a Patrick Kane laser shot.
Dustin Byfuglien would take a holding penalty for the Jets, followed by Duncan Keith taking a slashing penalty in order to prevent a goal. On the ensuing 4-on-4 play, Brandon Saad stretched the lead out to 2-0 just over 3 minutes into the second -- but the lead would last less than a minute.
Andrew Ladd would open up the scoring for Winnipeg 19 seconds after the Saad goal; and then, as the Byfulgien penalty expired, Keaton Ellerby put in his first of the year, a PPG, just 29 seconds later.
Saturday afternoon, the Chicago Blackhawks (8-2-3, 2nd in Central) will play at Winnipeg vs the Jets (3-5-2, 7th in Western wildcard), their first time playing each other as Central division rivals. It will be the first of four games between them this season. The two teams have not played each other since October 2011.
Due to the annual "Circus trip", the Blackhawks play the majority of their games on the road in November; just five of fifteen games will be at home. After Saturday afternoon's game, the Blackhawks will return to the United Center to face the Flames on Sunday, and then on to Washington, DC, for their visit to the White House.
The Isles took a big step towards the playoffs yesterday afternoon with another road victory in Winnipeg. Brian Strait was back in the line up, so Matt Carkner sat yesterday.
This was one of the most exciting games this season, with so much on the line for both teams. In the beginning of the first, the Isles looked a little tired. That would not last long though, as Frans Nielsen scored his 6th of the season just 4:21 into the game on a nice play from Okposo and Bailey. (Photo: MVerminski/flickr)
Riding a four-game winning streak, the Flyers travel to The 'Peg where they take on a struggling Jets team. Winnipeg is losers of five straight, giving the Flyers a good opportunity to take advantage of their struggles and continue their march to the playoffs.
The New York Islanders continue their fight for a playoff spot as they play host to the visiting Southeast Division leading Winnipeg Jets.
The Islanders, having went 3-1 on their recent road trip, look to keep the fire going at home Tuesday night. While impressive on the road, boasting an 11-5-1 record, they have struggled mightily at home posting a 6-11-2 mark. Even mediocre home ice play and the Isles are comfortably in the Stanley Cup chase.
As of now, the Isles are still deadlocked with the New York Rangers, who have a game in hand over the Isles, at 37 points. Both teams find themselves two points behind the 7th place New Jersey Devils.