Casey Cizikas

The New York Islanders fought the entire time to pick up their 45th win of the season and are two points away from clinching a playoff spot.

  • New York Islanders 5 (Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle (2), Anders Lee, Casey Cizikas)
  • Winnipeg Jets 4 (Adam Lowry (2), Brandon Tanev, Mark Scheifele)
  • Box Score, NHL, Final
  • MTS Centre, Winnipeg, MB
The New York Islanders withstood several obstacles and retaliated with three-straight goals to steal two points from the Jets.

With the way the last 20 games have gone for the Islanders (10-8-2), Mark Scheifele’s powerplay tip-in had “game” written all over it. A two-goal padding for one of the West’s best offensive teams with less than fifteen minutes left in regulation appeared to be an insurmountable cushion.

Something clicked in the mindset of the New York Islanders after Winnipeg’s fourth goal. Mathew Barzal‘s new-look line with Jordan Eberle and Anders Lee were leading the way all night and never looked hungrier than in the game’s last half-hour.

The Islanders had hammered Connor Hellebuyck with 30 shots, but it was an individual effort from Barzal to drive the play in deep which set up Eberle for a response a little over one minute after Winnipeg’s final tally.

Casey Cizikas was a presence all night and was rewarded for his efforts by officially getting to his first 20-goal season.

Then, 33 seconds later, Eberle rifled the game-winner past Hellebuyck and stunned the sellout crowd.

Over their last 20 games, including tonight, the Islanders have scored at least four goals five times. Prior to tonight, the only instance in which they were able to do so against a playoff team was against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

What’s better is Lee’s power-play goal which came on the 5-on-3 opportunity in the second period. The special team clicking for the Islanders provided a spark in momentum for the rest of the period.

Two more points in two means the new magic number goes down to just two. The Islanders have an opportunity to punch their ticket to the post-season with a win against the Buffalo Sabres at home this Saturday.

With two points in tow from the Jets, the Islanders now hold second place in the Metro division (95 points) with a three-point separation from the ceiling.

The Penguins remain two points behind with a game in hand, while the Hurricanes occupy the top wild-card spot with 91 points.

Nassau Coliseum will host two more games between the Sabres and Leafs, and the Islanders conclude their season on the road against the Panthers and Capitals where the Metro could be on the line.

The push continues Saturday night against Buffalo at 7 p.m. ET

Grew up a diehard Islanders and Mets fan based out of Northern New Jersey. Concluding my Broadcast Communications degree at William Paterson University. WP Sportsdesk member, Stan Fischler correspondent, music buff and total Star Wars freak. Follow my social media handles to learn more. Matt Di Giacomo is a Staff Writer for the Islanders on Elite Sports NY. He encourages team discussion. Tweet him @mdigiacESNY and check out his reviews on YouTube.