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Grabner scores 2 in 3rd, to lift Isles

Thursday - 4/5/2012, 10:06pm  ET

By IRA PODELL
AP Sports Writer

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) - Michael Grabner scored his second go-ahead goal of the third period with just 46.8 seconds left, John Tavares helped set up two others to reach 50 assists this season, and the New York Islanders wrapped up their home schedule with a 5-4 victory over the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night.

Grabner, who had given the Islanders a short-lived 4-3 lead with a penalty-shot goal with 8:15 remaining, deflected a shot-pass from defenseman Travis Hamonic to finally put New York ahead for good. The Islanders led 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 before putting the Jets away.

Winnipeg kept coming until time ran out. Defensemen Zach Bogosian and Dustin Byfuglien both netted tying goals in the third period. Another defenseman, Tobias Enstrom, and Andrew Ladd scored in the first to erase the early 2-0 hole.

Bogosian made it 3-3 at 7:03, and Byfuglien tied it at 4 with 7:39 to go.

Tavares set up goals by Matt Moulson and Kyle Okposo to reach 50 assists this season.

Okposo, who had two goals, gave the Islanders a 3-2 lead in the second. Tavares' setup made him the first Islanders player with 50 assists since Steve Thomas in the 1992-93 season.

Al Montoya made 21 saves for New York, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Chris Mason stopped 23 shots for Winnipeg, in its final road game. The Jets are 2-4-1 in their past seven.

Shortly after PA Parenteau, the Islanders' third-leading scorer this season, sprained an ankle while driving in on a breakaway, Okposo put New York back on top with his second of the night.

Tavares did a spin move along the right wing boards in the Jets' zone and flung a pass across to Okposo, who carried the puck into the left circle and slammed a shot in to make it 3-2 at 8:41 of the second.

A little over three minutes earlier, during a New York power play, Parenteau raced ahead and was closing in on the Winnipeg net when defenseman Mark Stuart charged in from the left and dived into Parenteau, with his stick outstretched, to thwart the rush. Stuart crashed into Parenteau while on his stomach, and appeared to pin Parenteau's left leg.

No penalty was called, and play continued while Parenteau remained down on the ice. The Islanders announced that he had sprained an ankle.

New York seemed inspired early and threatened to run the Jets out of the building when they scored on consecutive shots 1:28 apart.

Moulson got things going 6:38 in after Tavares got the puck from Winnipeg defenseman Grant Clitosme along the right-wing boards. Tavares nudged a pass over to Moulson, who snapped in his 36th goal with a shot from the right circle dot.

Okposo had an even easier time making it 2-0 at 8:06. Josh Bailey had the puck in the right circle, and got Mason to commit to him before sliding the puck over to Okposo alone in the slot. Okposo had just a wide-open net in front of him, and smacked a shot in while going down to a knee.

But the Jets stormed back.

Enstrom got them within a goal after Tavares had a pass intercepted in the Winnipeg zone. Enstrom ran a give-and-go with Jim Slater in the New York end, and scored his sixth goal with 10:18 left in the first.

Ladd tied it with 2:52 remaining by scoring his 28th. Bryan Little's shot from the right point was stopped by Montoya, but the rebound kicked out in front to Ladd, who scored into a gaping net.

The former Atlanta Thrashers will conclude their first season in Winnipeg at home on Saturday against Tampa Bay. The Islanders will wrap up their fifth straight non-playoff season the same night at Columbus.

NOTES: Tavares has assisted on 24 of Moulson's goals this season. Tavares, who has set career highs in goals (31) and assists (50), is the first Islanders player to reach 80 points since Ziggy Palffy had 87 in the 1997-98 season. ... Islanders D Steve Staois, who spent most of his career with the Edmonton Oilers, was honored before playing in his 1,000th NHL game. A pregame video of messages from current and former teammates was shown. One from former Islanders forward Ryan Smyth was met with boos from fans still unhappy he didn't re-sign with New York after being traded there. ... After going 24 games without a goal in 2010, Bogosian has scored in two straight. ... The Jets earned five of six points in the first three games of this four-game trip.


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