WINNIPEG – Claude Noel is considering drastic changes to the Winnipeg Jets’ power play to kickstart a crucial stretch of the season.
Winnipeg’s power play was shut out again Tuesday, as Evgeni Nabokov made 37 saves to lead the New York Islanders to a 3-1 win over the Jets.
P.A. Parenteau scored the winner 1:36 into the third period as the Islanders (24-24-8) improved their road record to 12-11-3.
In their last 10 games, the Jets have only scored two power-play goals off 24 chances—and those two goals came in a 3-2 shootout win over Washington on Feb. 9.
“I thought the power play really demoralized us again,” Noel said. “It really seems to be the story of late.”
He didn’t accuse his players of a lack of caring, just execution during the man advantage.
“It’s got to the point where we have to make some drastic moves or change some things,” Noel said. “You’ve got to either re-juggle, re-shuffle the personnel, there’s some things we have to look at…
“I don’t know that it’s necessarily personnel as much as decisions and stuff like that. That’s the bothersome thing for me, is just that your best players aren’t even executing passes that are simple plays.”
The Jets (26-26-6) play in Minnesota on Thursday and then stay at home for eight straight games.
With a 16-9-2 home record, it’s an opportunity for Winnipeg to make a real push for a playoff spot–if they can boost their power play.
Matt Moulson scored his team-leading 25th goal of the season on the power play for the Islanders and Matt Martin sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 53 seconds left that was assisted by Parenteau.
Chris Thorburn had the lone goal for Winnipeg, while Ondrej Pavelec made 22 saves in the loss.
Winnipeg is four points back of eighth-place Toronto in the NHL Eastern Conference standings.
“It’s going to be a tough hill to climb here, this one,” Noel said of the upcoming schedule.
“To me, this is going to be the true test of what character we have.”
Parenteau said the Islanders are finding ways to win on the road despite a lack of firepower.
“We know we’re not the best offensive team, but we know if we’re patient and have enough skills from our top forwards that we’re going to get it done,” Parenteau said.
“That’s the main thing when we play on the road and I think we’ve been having success since we’ve been doing that.”
Parenteau redirected a shot by Milan Jurcina for his 12th goal and 50th point of the season.
Jets winger Tanner Glass said his team’s offensive drought has to disappear quick.
“There wasn’t a lot of room out there and the chances we did have, unfortunately we couldn’t convert,” Glass said.
“It was a tight game and there’s going to be a lot of those down the stretch here for us and it would be nice for us to get more than one (goal) because it’s going to be difficult for us to win if we keep scoring one goal per game.”
The Jets opened the scoring when Thorburn scored his third goal of the season with 2:10 left in the first period off a rebound that went by Nabokov.
Just 23 seconds after Jets forward Blake Wheeler went to the penalty box for tripping, Moulson scored at 3:55 to tie the game 1-1.
Moulson was playing in his 220th consecutive game with the Islanders. He hasn’t missed a game since joining the club as a free agent in July 2009.
Notes: The Islanders are only 6-20-3 when allowing the game’s first goal.