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Clutterbuck, Barzal help Islanders end skid, defeat Jets 6-3

NEW YORK (AP) — Cal Clutterbuck scored twice, Mathew Barzal and Hudson Fasching each had a goal and two assists and the New York Islanders snapped a six-game losing streak with a 6-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets Saturday.

Kyle Palmieri and Anders Lee also scored and Semyon Varlamov made 33 saves for the Islanders, who remain outside a wild-card playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with 12 games left in the regular season.

“It just shows what we are capable of,” Clutterbuck said. "I think consistency is what we are looking for now.”

Vladislav Namestnikov, Mason Appleton and Cole Perfetti scored for Winnipeg, which has lost two in a row after an impressive win over the Rangers on Tuesday. Connor Hellebuyck gave up five goals on 26 shots before being relieved by Laurent Brossoit halfway through the second period.

Clutterbuck scored twice in the first period to give New York an early 2-0 lead.

Namestnikov pulled the Jets to within a goal as he snuck behind the Islanders defense and deftly danced around Varlamov at 11:20 of the first period.

The Islanders responded with four consecutive goals to take command.

“We were all over them, we kind of smothered them early,” Fasching said. “They couldn’t really make any plays, couldn’t get anything going. We were blocking shots, we were really good in our D zone. We broke the puck out very quickly. Those are big things for us.”

Palmieri finished a cross-ice feed from Nelson at 15:47 to cap off a strong first period. Fasching, Barzal and Lee all scored in the middle frame to stretch the lead to 6-1.

“Stretching that lead makes it just easier on everybody,” Barzal said. “It takes the weight off everybody’s shoulders. … Stretching a lead like that is just crucial for the bench and the psyche."

Barzal put the exclamation point on the win when he netted his 22nd of the season for a 5-1 lead. Fasching slid a puck past Hellebuyck and Barzal buried the loose puck at 9:11 of the second period. Brossoit replaced Hellebuyck following the goal,

“We got inside, we got in front of him,” Clutterbuck said of the Islanders ability to solve Hellebuyck. “A lot of our goals were second opportunities, not first opportunities. For the first two periods we did a good job of really getting to the inside and putting pucks there.”

Nikolaj Ehlers fired a sharp-angled shot that created a rebound for Appleton to pounce on at 7:73 of the third period, while Perfetti returned to the Winnipeg lineup after being scratched the previous four games and scored his 15th late in the game.

“They are a team that competes really hard,” Jets defenseman Josh Morrissey said after registering his 50th assist of the season. “Their physical, their forecheck game, defensive game, they are a hard-nosed team. They were winning every battle, faster to pucks, better execution, more desperate all over the ice. … They brought their game, played to their identity, brought their desperation but we didn’t do anything to match that.”

UP NEXT:

Jets: Face the Washington Capitals Sunday to cnclude five-game road trip.

Islanders: Host New Jersey Devils Sunday

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl