Isles defeat Wild in shootout, 2-1

Andrew MacDonald scores second period goal, Frans Nielsen scores lone shootout goal for the win

Saturday, 12.17.2011 / 11:42 PM ET / News
By Dyan LeBourdais
X
Share with your Friends


Isles defeat Wild in shootout, 2-1
Going to his patented backhand move, Isles center Frans Nielsen scored the lone goal in the shootout to lift the Islanders 2-1 over the Minnesota Wild in their first non-regulation win of the season.

“It’s the West against the East so it really doesn’t matter if it was overtime or regulation, but it was nice to get the win,” Nielsen said. “It would have been a tough loss if we didn’t win tonight because I really liked the way we played.”

Frans Nielsen scores a shootout goal against Niklas Backstrom at Xcel Energy Center on December 17, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano added: “We did a lot of good things tonight. It was a game they deserved to win.”

Part of the win was the effort from the Islanders defense.

“I thought our D played much better,” Capuano said. “We communicated well. We used each other, especially in our neutral zone on transition tonight, but our D played well in the D zone. Our angles, our sticks, our D zone coverage and our positioning was good tonight.”

Goaltender Al Montoya, who denied all three of Minnesota’s shooters in the skills competition,  saved 20-of-21 shots through 65 minutes of play. The Isles peppered Wild netminder Niklas Backstrom with 36 shots, outshooting Minnesota 24-9 through the first two periods.

“We played really well,” said Islanders defenseman Andrew MacDonald. “I thought we made really good decisions on our breakouts when we had to and sustained some good pressure. We tried to get the puck in behind their D and just work hard. I think we had some good end-zone presence and we were successful.”

MacDonald notched a goal at 11:13 of the second period, his first game back after missing seven due to a right leg injury, to give the Isles a 1-0 lead. Matt Moulson rushed the net for two quick shots around the crease, but John Tavares cycled the puck up to MacDonald at the top of the circle. The Isles blue liner fired a slap shot, beating Backstrom low blocker side.

“I felt good,” MacDonald said of his return to game action. “I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel. I had a couple practices under my belt, but while I was out, I was doing a lot of conditioning and trying to keep up with everything. It certainly paid off.”

Andrew MacDonald skates with the puck while Nick Johnson defends during the game at Xcel Energy Center on Dec. 17, 2011. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
But the Wild rebounded in the third period, coming out of the gates much stronger and faster than they had in the previous 40 minutes. Cal Clutterbuck tied the score at 8:22, scooping in a rebound at the paint.

“They came hard,” Nielsen said of Minnesota. “They started shooting the puck, entering the zone and that kind of started their forecheck. We didn’t know where the rebounds where going or what corner to go in. They got the pressure on us and they got a goal, a tough goal they got there, but I think we answered well and came back in the game.”

Showing that resiliency to pull out their first extra-time victory of the season has put the Isles in the right direction as they continue their road trip out West with a stop in Travis Hamonic’s hometown to face the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 74 46 20 8 195 162 100
2 NYR 72 46 19 7 219 167 99
3 TBL 74 46 21 7 242 191 99
4 NYI 74 44 25 5 226 205 93
5 PIT 73 40 22 11 202 181 91
6 DET 72 39 21 12 208 195 90
7 WSH 73 39 24 10 212 180 88
8 OTT 72 37 24 11 212 190 85
9 BOS 73 36 25 12 193 190 84
10 FLA 73 33 26 14 180 201 80
11 PHI 75 30 29 16 196 216 76
12 NJD 73 31 31 11 164 186 73
13 CBJ 73 34 35 4 198 228 72
14 CAR 72 26 36 10 165 199 62
15 TOR 74 27 41 6 193 237 60
16 BUF 73 20 46 7 138 245 47

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 74 34 40 2 74
K. Okposo 52 15 31 -7 46
R. Strome 73 15 30 19 45
B. Nelson 74 18 22 9 40
F. Nielsen 73 12 28 9 40
A. Lee 68 23 16 15 39
J. Bailey 62 15 22 8 37
J. Boychuk 64 7 25 12 32
N. Leddy 70 10 19 18 29
T. Hamonic 64 5 24 15 29
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 35 15 2 .914 2.38
C. Johnson 8 8 1 .889 3.08

NewYorkIslanders.com is the official Web site of the New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and NewYorkIslanders.com are trademarks of New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P.  NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 New York Islanders Hockey Club, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy |  AdChoices |  Terms of Use |  Contact  Us |  Employment |  Webmaster |  NHL.com Terms of Use