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NEW YORK — John Tavares had a power-play goal and added two assists, Thomas Greiss made 22 saves and the Islanders beat the Winnipeg Jets 4-2 for their first win of the season and the first in their new Brooklyn home.
The Islanders came out with purpose after losing their opening two games of the season to the defending champion Blackhawks, one in overtime at home and the other in regulation in Chicago.
The home team outshot the visitors 16-6 in the opening period and had a 20-9 shots advantage in the second. Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec made a number of key saves in the first as the Islanders had four power-play chances.
Ryan Strome banged in a rebound with a man advantage at 19:48 of the first, giving the Brooklyn matinee crowd a chance to launch their standard “Yes! Yes! Yes!” chant. Tavares and Kyle Okposo assisted on Strome’s first of the season.
Brock Nelson made it 2-0 on a wrist shot from the right wing at 6:46 of the second after Tavares slid him the puck from the left side.
Tavares increased the margin to 3-0 at 10:45 of the second after Pavelec stopped Marek Zidlicky’s shot from the point and the rebound came to Tavares perched to the goaltender’s left.
Tavares also scored the Islanders’ first goal at Barclays Center in their 3-2 overtime loss last Friday. He has four points in three games. He was denied by Pavelec on a penalty shot with 2:15 left in the third.
Josh Bailey added an empty-net goal with 19 seconds left.
Greiss — starting in place of Jaroslav Halak for the second time in three games — wasn’t especially tested. But he was steady when he had to be, only allowing a late second-period goal to Mark Scheifele and power-play goal by Dustin Byfuglien at 11:52 of the third.
The Jets — starting their season with a four-game Eastern road trip — opened with wins over the Boston Bruins and the New Jersey Devils. They were seeking the first 3-0 start in franchise and will conclude the trip against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
Pavelec did make a number of key saves early in the first. His best was a toe stop on Tavares just over seven minutes in as the Islanders captain eluded the Jets
Halak missed the game with an upper-body injury. Islanders coach Jack Capuano said before the game that his starting goaltender was still “day to day.”
The Islanders have two more home games this week against Nashville on Thursday and San Jose on Saturday. They are playing 10 of their first 15 games at Barclays Center.
NOTES: The Islanders are 8-3-1 in 12 games against the Jets since the franchise relocated from Atlanta. … Last season, the Islanders were 40-8-4 when they scored at least three goals (including shootout winners) and 7-20-3 when they didn’t.
Allan Kreda, The Associated Press
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