Islanders stop Wild 2-1
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) -- Andrew MacDonald and Frans Nielsen scored first-period goals and the New York Islanders hung on for a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild on Monday despite a lackluster final two periods.
Al Montoya made 20 saves in his second straight start over Rick DiPietro. Unlike his outing in the season-opening 2-0 loss to Florida on Saturday, Montoya got some offense and held off the Wild to give the Islanders their first win of the season.
Montoya lost his shutout bid 1:13 into the third period when Matt Cullen scored his second goal in two games. Minnesota lost its first road game of the season after opening with a 4-2 home win over Columbus on Saturday.
New York managed to hold off the Wild despite being outshot 19-5 after their impressive first period.
Minnesota had chances to at least get even, but failed to connect on five power-play opportunities -- including a 44-second, two-man advantage in the second period that didn't generate a shot, and a pair of third-period advantages.
The Islanders took care of their offensive woes in a hurry following the uninspired loss to Florida.
MacDonald netted New York's first goal of the young season when he stepped into a rebound of defense partner Travis Hamonic's shot that caromed out near the blue line. He ripped a drive that rattled in off the left post at 9:05 -- just 11 seconds into Minnesota captain Mikko Koivu's tripping penalty.
The lead grew to 2-0, again from the blue line created by the defense. Mark Streit faked a shot from the left point, glided into a zone a bit farther, and wound up again. Instead of firing a shot, Streit -- the new Islanders captain who missed all of last season because of a shoulder injury -- sent a hard pass down to the right post to Nielsen for a perfect redirect goal at 11:45.
P.A. Parenteau had the secondary assist on both goals.
Despite drawing two power plays in the opening 5:09 when the game was scoreless, the Wild mustered only two shots on Montoya in the first period. Minnesota didn't record a shot on either advantage.
Niklas Backstrom kept the Islanders' lead at two goals in the one-sided period by making a strong save in the crease against Matt Moulson, who deflected a shot from point-blank range with just over 5 minutes remaining.
Minnesota came out stronger to start the second period and earned another power play at 1:24, but still couldn't do anything with it. At least this time the Wild got a shot during the advantage and totaled three overall in the opening 1:32 of the frame -- but didn't get any past Montoya.
The shot totals completely turned in that period, when Minnesota held a 10-2 advantage. The Wild were helped late in the period when they had their 5-on-3, but failed to cut into the Islanders' lead. Dany Heatley had a chance in front on the second half of the power play, but put an in-close shot into Montoya.
NOTES: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who had two assists in the Wild's season opener, served the first game of a two-game suspension for high-sticking Columbus forward Matt Calvert on Saturday.
Bouchard will also sit out Tuesday at Ottawa. He is eligible to return Thursday against Edmonton. ... Both teams used their lone timeout before the second period was over. The Wild called theirs before the two-man advantage. ... MacDonald had a career-best 27 points last season before being shut down with seven games remaining because of a hip injury.