The New York Islanders recorded made history on Columbus Day, notching their first regular-season with at the Barclays Center with a 4-2 decision over the Winnipeg Jets.
And, fittingly, it was the captain that led the way.
John Tavares finished with a goal and two assists in a game the Isles seemed determined to take. New York was the more aggressive of the two sides to start — the Isles out-shot the Jets 16-6 in the first period and jumped out to a 3-0 lead on goals from Tavares, Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson before Mark Scheifele replied for the Jets.
Winnipeg did rally to make it 3-2 on a Dustin Byfuglien power play goal in the third period, but the Isles retook control, first with a penalty shot (that Tavares missed), then an empty-net goal from Josh Bailey, his first of the season.
For the Isles, today’s win will help erase what some saw as a disappointing start. New York opened the year with a difficult assignment — back-to-back games against the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks — and only secured a single point after losing the opener 3-2 (in OT), then dropping the second game 4-1.
For the Jets, today’s loss was their first of the year after opening with wins in Boston and New Jersey. While they were flat for the opening 30 minutes, the Jets can probably take some solace in their comeback effort, and the fact they showed fight in the third of a four-game road trip to start the season.