New York Islanders center Mathew Barzal (13) controls the puck against Winnipeg Jets center Andrew Copp (9) in the second period of an NHL hockey game, Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)

Barzal powers Islanders past Jets 5-2

December 23, 2017 - 3:51 pm

NEW YORK (AP) — Mathew Barzal scored three times, Jaroslav Halak made 38 saves and the New York Islanders beat the Winnipeg Jets 5-2 on Saturday.

The 20-year-old Barzal scored twice in the first period after Anders Lee got New York on the board 1:31 into the game. Barzal finished his first career hat trick with his 12th goal at 11:22 of the third.

The Islanders (19-13-4) had dropped two in a row and four of five. Defense has been an issue of late, with New York allowing three or more goals in 10 of its first 11 games this month.

But Halak was able to smother the high-flying Jets, who have one of the best records in the league. He allowed a first-period goal to rookie defenseman Tucker Poolman and a third-period score by Adam Lowry while improving to 10-8-2 on the season.

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