NEW YORK — The Winnipeg Jets are finding ways to win late during their best stretch of the season.
Jacob Trouba and Adam Lowry scored 22 seconds apart early in the third period, rallying the Jets to a 3-1 victory over the New York Islanders on Tuesday night.
Nikolaj Ehlers added an empty-net goal with 2.1 seconds left and Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots to help Winnipeg get its season-high fourth straight win and fifth in six games.
“We were able to grind and stick with our game,” Hellebuyck said. “We’re believing in ourselves and doing everything right.”
The Jets have three straight road wins for the first time this season after completing a sweep of their three-game trip to the New York area. Winnipeg beat New Jersey 4-3 in overtime on Saturday, then won 4-3 in a shootout against the Rangers on Sunday.
“Of the three, I was maybe most pleased with tonight,” Jets coach Paul Maurice said. “A very grinding game. They had the rest advantage on us but we were very smart. … They accepted the game that was being played and got comfortable.”
The Jets scored three goals after the second period in each of the three wins.
“We believe in our system and when you believe in something good things start to come,” Hellebuyck said. “It’s huge to get all six points on the three games here. A key for your season.”
Anders Lee scored and Thomas Greiss finished with 21 saves for New York, which has lost three of four (1-2-1). The Islanders were back at Barclays Center three nights after rallying for a 3-2 win over Columbus in their first regular-season game at Nassau Coliseum in 3 1/2 years.
Despite the loss, they were pleased with how they played in this one.
“We had some really good opportunities to score and Hellebuyck kept a lot of them out,” Lee said. “Credit to him on those, but for the most part we did play a pretty good game.”
Lee broke the scoreless tie 1:33 into the third period when he knocked down Johnny Boychuk’s shot from the right point and beat Hellebuyck from the left side for his 10th. It gave Lee four goals and six points in the last six games.
Trouba tied it on the power play with a slap shot straightaway from the blue line for his third at 3:39. Lowry put the Jets ahead as he scored on a rebound of Brandon Tanev’s shot in front for his fifth at 4:01.
Lowry’s goal was his first since Oct. 20. He had three assists in 18 games since.
“I’ve had some chances last few games,” he said. “There was a stretch I wasn’t really happy with how my game was going. … I was real happy to see that one go in.”
After a brisk first period in which neither team mustered a lot of chances, both picked up the pace in the second. Winnipeg, outshot 8-3 in the first, had a 15-12 edge in the middle period.
The Islanders’ best try of the period came about six minutes in when Hellebuyck stopped Lee’s tip try in front and then denied Jordan Eberle’s follow attempt. Greiss made two stellar saves on Kyle Connor late in the second to keep the game scoreless. First, he stopped Connor’s try in front, then he made a shoulder save lunging to his right on Connor’s follow.
New York had the first five shots of the game but then went nine minutes between Nick Leddy’s slap shot from beyond the left circle at 7:48 and Valtteri Filppula’s attempt from the edge of the left circle with 3:08 remaining.
Winnipeg didn’t get its first shot on goal until Tyler Myers’ try from the right point 9:11 in, but then had nothing after Blake Wheeler’s slap shot from the right circle with 8:01 left in the opening period.
NOTES: The Jets’ Mark Scheifele snapped a five-game point streak in which he had five goals and four assists. Patrik Laine ended a five-game point and assist streak in which he had a goal and eight assists. … Winnipeg is 7-0-0 this season in games tied after two periods, and 9-3-0 when giving up the first goal. … Winnipeg has scored 38 goals over its last nine games. … Lee has 10 goals and 14 points in 11 career games against the Jets. … New York went 0 for 2 on the power play and is 0 for 18 over its last eight games.
Jets: Host St. Louis on Friday night in the opener of a four-game homestand.
Islanders: At Pittsburgh on Thursday night to begin a two-game trip.
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Vin A. Cherwoo, The Associated Press