Postgame 3/18/14: Wild Defeat Islanders 6-0
The Islanders 4 game home stand continued on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Wild. The storyline entering the night was the first trip back to Nassau Coliseum for former Islanders Matt Moulson and Nino Niederreiter whom were both dealt by the team in the past year. Both situations were very different as Moulson received a warm welcome from the Coliseum crowd as he was one of the well liked players on the team. For Niederreiter, it wasn’t as warm of a homecoming for the former 1st round pick as he requested a trade last summer.
For the game itself, the Wild enter the Coliseum coming off a 4-1 loss to the Bruins in Boston on Monday night and playing the back end of a back to back. Minnesota holds a slim lead in the Western Conference for a wild card spot and every point is important for them to get. The Islanders last played on Saturday night a 4-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The goalie matchup for this game featured Anders Nilsson for the Islanders and Ilya Bryzgalov for the Wild.
The 1st period saw the Wild get to work early and not let the back to back affect them early. Matt Moulson scored first a little over 8 minutes into the game and gave the crowd a little bit of past with his 19th goal of the season. About 4 minutes later it was another former Islanders connection scoring for the Wild, Jared Spurgeon picked up his 4th of the season off a Nino Niederreiter assist for a 2-0 Wild lead. It may not be known to many Islanders fans but Spurgeon was drafted in 2008 by the Islanders but the team never signed him. The Islanders had issues throughout the game getting opportunities against the very talented Wild team.
In the 2ndperiod it was the Wild who kept control of the game and a poor effort from the Islanders overall showed tonight as they couldn’t keep up with the strong play of this opponent. Late in the period it was Mikael Granlund scoring his 7th of the year making it 3-0 at the break. The 3rdperiod really put the game out of hand, Clayton Stoner scored his 1st of the year, snapping a 108 game scoreless streak, Justin Fontaine also scored with an assist from Matt Moulson and then to end the night it was Moulson scoring again this time on the power play. He ended his return to Long Island with 2 goals and an assist and the fans chanted “WE WANT MOULSON” in the final minutes of the game. Wild goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov earned the shutout victory in net.
Islanders defenseman Brian Strait left tonight’s game with a broken hand and he could possibly miss the remainder of the season. The Islanders now will have off until Sunday when they conclude their home stand against the Columbus Blue Jackets.