Grabner's goal lives Isles, 3-2 over Jets

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 4, 2014 at 11:26 pm •  Published: March 4, 2014
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WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) — On a day when the New York Islanders needed a lift, Michael Grabner was there to provide one.

Grabner scored on a breakaway 3:53 into overtime as the Islanders defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 on Tuesday night. The victory came just hours after defenseman Andrew MacDonald was traded to Philadelphia and while winger Thomas Vanek's future was up in the air.

Cal Clutterbuck sent a pass from around the blue line up to Grabner, who slipped between Jets defensemen Jacob Trouba and Zach Bogosian and beat Ondrej Pavelec with a low shot.

The Islanders also got a goal and assist from Anders Lee and a goal from Colin McDonald to end a two-game skid.

Jets captain Andrew Ladd scored his 16th and 17th goals of the season, tying the game 2-2 with 5:07 left in the third period for Winnipeg. The Jets had won their last two matches.

Earlier in the day, the veteran MacDonald was traded to Philadelphia for center Matt Mangene and a third-round pick in this year's NHL draft, and a second-round pick in 2015.

Vanek, who has 21 goals and 53 points, was then a healthy scratch amid rumors he'll be traded before Wednesday afternoon's deadline.

"I don't really try to think about it," Grabner said of the day's turmoil. "I've been traded before, I've been on waivers. It's business. You can't really influence what happens. ... You have to just stay in the moment, day by day, and after (Wednesday) we'll be all done for at least a couple of months again.

"I've been through this, I've seen people traded on game days. Of course, it's weird. (Vanek) came to the rink with us and then he's told he's not playing. It changes things around. But like I said, we did a great job of focusing on not letting this stuff distract us."

New York captain John Tavares is already out for the rest of the season with a knee injury he suffered playing for Canada in the Olympics.

"It was difficult," Isles coach Jack Capuano said. "I've been around Andrew a long time and watched him grow in this league. He's been a great player for us, a great team guy and a great friend to a lot of guys, so it's tough the first game without him.

"And, obviously, Thomas has been with us since the start of the year. We all know it's a business, and every guy will tell you that we wish him the best of luck, both of those guys."

Ladd scored his first goal after Josh Bailey turned over the puck in the Jets' zone under pressure from defenseman Mark Stuart. Winnipeg's Olli Jokinen then sent a pass up the ice to Ladd, who went in alone on goalie Anders Nilsson and beat him with a low shot on the blocker side.