Winnipeg, MB – Winnipeg, MB (SportsNetwork.com) - Michael Grabner split two defenders on a mad rush to the net in overtime and went top shelf to send the New York Islanders past the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Tuesday.
Cal Clutterbuck stickhandled through his own zone and sent a lead pass to a hard-charging Grabner in the neutral zone. Grabner put his head down and raced past two flat-footed Jets defenders, then beat Ondrej Pavelec with a forehand with 69 seconds left in the extra session.
Colin McDonald and Anders Lee each scored in regulation for New York, while Anders Nilsson made 36 saves in the victory, the club's third in the past 12 games.
Pavelec stopped 24 shots for the Jets, who had a two-game winning streak snapped despite Andrew Ladd's two goals.
New York shipped defenseman Andrew MacDonald to the Flyers hours before the game and sat a healthy Thomas Vanek, presumably in anticipation of another deal before Wednesday's trade deadline.
Even with the uncertain future, the Islanders showed fight after Ladd dealt them an early blow when he scored off the draw near the midway point of the opening period.
"I think that most guys know that this time of year is a little difficult, but I thought we were focused, we were ready to play obviously against a big strong hockey team that's playing real well," Islanders head coach Jack Capuano said.
McDonald offered the first counter punch with 2:30 to go in the first, as he took advantage of Ryan Strome's rebound off the back boards and redirected it into an open net.
The Islanders began the second period a man down, but seconds after Strome's interference penalty ended, Lee came off the bench and found himself on a breakaway. Pavelec stopped the initial effort, but Lee knocked in his own rebound out of the air and just under the crossbar.
The goal came 1:33 into the second, and Nilsson made the 2-1 lead stick until Ladd was sent in on a breakaway and beat him over his right shoulder with 5:07 remaining in regulation.
Nilsson was whistled for a delay of game penalty two minutes later, but the Islanders, just as they had on their four other penalty kills, kept the Jets off the board.
"I thought we did a good job battling back to get it into overtime. And from there, it can go either way," Ladd said.
Islanders forward Eric Boulton exited early with a hand injury and did not return ... The Jets also made a trade Tuesday, acquiring goaltender Viktor Fasth from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a fifth-round pick in the 2014 draft and a third-round pick the next year ... New York has claimed six of the past eight meetings versus the Jets.