Strome's four points lead Islanders past Jets

Cory Wright | Thursday, 01.01.2015 / 4:51 PM

A career night from Ryan Strome powered the Islanders to a 4-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday evening at MTS Centre.

Strome had four points (one goal, three assists), while linemates Frans Nielsen (two goals, one assists) and Anders Lee (one goal, one assist) each had multi-point games in a convincing victory at Portage and Main.

“It’s not every night that you get four points,” Strome said. “I don’t really like to judge a game based on the points, but obviously it’s nice to contribute. Obviously I think our line had a pretty good game, pretty solid d-zone and it’s always good to help out.”

The Islanders took a 2-0 lead in the opening period, beating Ondrej Pavelec twice as a result of curious bounces. The first goal came off a net-side feed that saw the puck pop straight up, before caroming off both Lee and Strome and crossing the goal line at 10:04. The second goal came eight minutes later, this time on a 5-on-3 power play. Johnny Boychuk broke his stick in half on a point shot, but the puck took a right-hand turn to Nielsen, who buried into a yawning cage for his first of the game.

“A couple of the bounces went our way,” Lee said. “The broken stick to Frans was great and a little bounce in front for me. But you get rewarded when you work hard and create those opportunities. Tonight, that’s what happened.”

The Jets got one back early in the second period just as Andrew Ladd scored the first of his two goals. Winnipeg’s captain skated in undetected as an Islanders penalty was expiring and buried a Blake Wheeler feed past Jaroslav Halak.

The Islanders didn’t allow the momentum to shift after Ladd’s first strike and 10 minutes later, Nielsen gave the Islanders a 3-1 lead with his second of the game, teaming up with Strome for a beautiful give-and-go play. Nielsen won the puck along the boards, charged up the wing, left a drop pass for Strome and got open. Strome looked off a shot and fed Nielsen who slammed a one-timer past Pavelec.

“Our goals were the beneficiary of hard work,” Strome said. “Fransy’s second one was the result of good defensive-zone coverage for 30-40 seconds. We’re just trying to do the right things.”

The Jets did not go quietly in the third period, as Ladd cut into the Islanders lead with his second of the game, 47 seconds into the final frame. The Islanders responded again, as Lee and Strome grinded away around the Jets crease, before Lee beat Pavelec high from the goal line. Josh Bailey iced the game with an empty-netter in the final minute.

“We closed this one out before overtime and it feels good just to regain that confidence if we lost it a little bit,” Strome said. “This team is very comfortable in the third periods. It was just a matter of some bad luck and some bad bounces, but it went our way tonight.”

Jaroslav Halak made 21 saves for the Islanders, who improve to 5-0-1 in six trips to Winnipeg since the Jets reboot. With the win, the Islanders grab a share of first place to end the calendar year for the first time since the 1987-88 season.

The Islanders continue their seven-game road trip Friday night in Calgary when they take on the Flames. Puck drop is at 9:00 p.m. eastern time.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
10:04NYI Ryan Strome (7) ASST: Anders Lee (4), Nick Leddy (11) 1 - 0 NYI
18:16NYI PPG - Frans Nielsen (7) ASST: Johnny Boychuk (13), Ryan Strome (18) 2 - 0 NYI
2nd Period
04:41WPG Andrew Ladd (13) ASST: Blake Wheeler (17), Paul Postma (4) 2 - 1 NYI
15:27NYI Frans Nielsen (8) ASST: Ryan Strome (19) 3 - 1 NYI
3rd Period
00:47WPG PPG - Andrew Ladd (14) ASST: Mathieu Perreault (10), Bryan Little (13) 3 - 2 NYI
11:35NYI Anders Lee (9) ASST: Ryan Strome (20), Frans Nielsen (13) 4 - 2 NYI
19:28NYI PPG - EN - Josh Bailey (6) ASST: Travis Hamonic (5), Calvin de Haan (7) 5 - 2 NYI
Three Stars of the Game
Ryan Strome
Ryan Strome
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 3Hits: 0
PTS: 4PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 15:04
Frans Nielsen
Frans Nielsen
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 3TOI: 17:28
Andrew Ladd
Andrew Ladd
G: 2Shots: 4
A: 0Hits: 2
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 19:22
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:34WPG Andrew Ladd  Slashing against  Calvin de Haan
04:56NYI Calvin de Haan  Holding against  Bryan Little
11:43NYI Mikhail Grabovski  Holding the stick against  Mathieu Perreault
16:30WPG Jay Harrison  Holding against  Ryan Strome
18:00WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Roughing against  Brock Nelson
2nd Period
02:40NYI Cal Clutterbuck  Interference against  TJ Galiardi
05:32WPG Blake Wheeler  Interference against  Johnny Boychuk
19:18NYI Mikhail Grabovski  Interference against  TJ Galiardi
3rd Period
07:38WPG Mathieu Perreault  Slashing against  Lubomir Visnovsky
13:54WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Interference on goalkeeper against  Jaroslav Halak
18:27WPG Dustin Byfuglien  Unsportsmanlike conduct
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays2/71/4
Faceoff Wins2930
Blocked Shots1618
Penalty Minutes814
2N. LeddyD0112018:29
3T. HamonicD0101022:10
11L. VisnovskyD0011020:15
12J. BaileyL1002013:02
14T. HickeyD0012014:37
15C. ClutterbuckR00-13213:17
17M. MartinL0000011:39
18R. StromeC1324015:04
21K. OkposoR0002019:25
27A. LeeL1132013:44
29B. NelsonC0002015:10
44C. de HaanD0100219:18
51F. NielsenC2132017:28
53C. CizikasC0000014:33
55J. BoychukD0115019:56
84M. GrabovskiC0002412:56
86N. KuleminL00-12011:36
91J. TavaresC0001019:52
41J. Halak2123.91360:00
2A. PardyD00-10019:11
4P. PostmaD0100014:38
14A. PelusoR000104:41
15M. HalischukR00-2109:21
16A. LaddL2014219:22
17A. LowryC00-21015:09
18B. LittleC0113020:31
19J. SlaterC000008:27
21T. GaliardiL0001012:01
22C. ThorburnR00-2107:27
23J. HarrisonD0002218:12
24G. ClitsomeD0010019:57
26B. WheelerR0111221:29
33D. ByfuglienD00-22627:35
55M. ScheifeleC00-11016:30
63B. ChiarotD00-20013:50
67M. FrolikR00-15019:57
85M. PerreaultC01-10218:57
31O. Pavelec2832.87559:54