At least the Jets know what they need to work on for next season.
Winnipeg will play its final road game of the 2011-12 season this evening as they visit the slumping New York Islanders.
In their first season since relocating from Atlanta, the Jets were in contention for both a playoff spot and the still-unclaimed Southeast Division title before losing six of their last nine games to fall out of both races. Poor play on the road haunted Winnipeg all season long as the club has put together just a 14-21-5 mark as the guest compared to a 23-13-4 record at home.
The Jets, though, have gone 2-0-1 over their final road trip of the season that concludes tonight, with each game going into overtime. Winnipeg played the role of spoiler on Tuesday as its 5-4 victory against Florida prevented the Panthers from clinching the Southeast Division.
Andrew Ladd kept the cork in the champagne by scoring his second goal of the game with 1:48 to go in overtime, while Ondrej Pavelec came up with 34 saves as the Jets rallied from a 3-0 deficit.
"It's something we talked about. Playing for each other and owing it to ourselves to finish this up the right way and do the right things. After a bit of a rough start, I think we started to do those right things," Ladd said.
Zach Bogosian and Bryan Little both posted a goal and an assist, while Evander Kane reached the 30-goal mark for the first time in his young career. Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien each added two helpers for Winnipeg, which will end its season on Saturday at home versus the Lightning.
Interestingly, the Jets lost both of their home games to the Islanders this season after notching a 3-0 victory at New York on Nov. 3. Pavelec had a 34- save shutout in that win, while Kane had a goal.
With 83 points on the season, the Jets are just one point shy of posting their highest total since the 2006-07 Atlanta Thrashers club ended with 97 points en route to the franchise's only playoff appearance.
The Islanders have been outscored 14-5 over a current three-game winning streak and were held to just a single goal for a second game in a row with Tuesday's 3-1 loss at the Devils. Matt Moulson had New York's only goal, his 35th of the season, while John Tavares had an assist to give him 200 career points in 241 games.
"We're playing for a lot of pride here. We want to win the games we have remaining and work on things that we have to work on," Moulson said about his team, which sits in 14th place in the Eastern Conference with 77 points.
Al Montoya faced only 19 shots and stopped 17 of them for New York, which plays its home final tonight before ending its season with a game at Columbus on Saturday.
Islanders defenseman Steve Staios was a healthy scratch versus the Devils, leaving him stuck on 999 career games. Staios could reach the milestone tonight over 16 years after making his NHL debut on March 21, 1996 while with Boston.