Isles Get A Huge Shoot Out Victory In Winnipeg

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)

The Isles had a power play about 5 minutes in, but did not score as their power play continued to struggle. They were to get another power play in the period, but were denied on that one as well. The Isles had nice clean crisp passing, but nobody was getting the puck on net.

At the midway point of the period, on an odd man rush, Zach Bogosian tied it for the Jets. Isles Josh Bailey answered that with his 10th of the season from Kyle Okposo. This line is on fire of late. Beautiful goal and the first ends 2-1 Isles.

In the first minute of the second period Dustin Byfuglien dumped Tavares and the Isles received another chance with the man-advantage. JT was slow to get up, but was right back on the ice for the power play. But shortly thereafter Bogosian would go to the ice awkwardly with Jets fans screaming for a penalty, but that was not to be.

Matt Martin scored for the Isles at 9:47 to give the Isles a 3-1 lead, but that would be very shortlives. Two consecutive goals would come from Kyle Wellwood at 10:27 and again at 13:24. The Jets were on the power play near the end of the second and put one in the basket at the buzzer, but fortunately for the Isles, time had run out. The score would remain tied at three at the end of the second. SOG 23-13 Isles

The Isles opened the third with a big kill on the Grabner penalty that carried over from the second. At around the six minute mark, the Isles had a flurry of opportunities, but the Jets Eric Tangradi was blocking everything. It seemed like there were four Tangradi's on the ice. Tangradi blocked four consecutive shots in that shift, which absolutely deserves a mention as it received a standing ovation from the Jets crowd.

On a nice play by Colin McDonald, Michael Grabner gave the Isles the go ahead goal at the mid way point of the third for a 4-3 Isles lead. But Bryan Little tied it for the Jets at 17:59. All tied at 4 this one heads to OT.

The OT was very exciting, with everone on the edge of their seat. Shots rang off the post; odd-man rushes took place at both ends of the ice; really great hockey here until it was marred by Byfuglien taking a run at Nabokov with only seconds remaining in the OT period. A meaningless penalty assessed and this one was off to the shoot out.

First up was Wheeler for the Jets followed by Nielsen for the Isles, but neither scored. Next up for the Jets was Mike Santorelli who hit the crossbar. The excitement and tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. (Photo: theseoduke/flickr)

Second up for the Isles was Brad Boyes, who scored a beauty. Third up for the Jets was Andrew Ladd, who beat Nabokov after a few nifty moves. Third up for the Isles was guess who? JohnTavares, who scored on Jets goalie Andrej Pavelec, defeating the Jets in the shoot out.

What a game folks. Playoff like hockey throughout. The victory gives the Isles a hold on 6th place in the Eastern Conference with three games to go in the season. 

Notes:

SOG: 33-28 Isles

Face offs: 35-29 Isles

PP: Isles 0 for 4 Jets 1 for 2

Hits: 43-14 Jets? Wow, that doesn't seem right

Blocked shots: 25-15 Jets

-Jane Fisher

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