Islanders Survive Wild – Nelson Scores OT Winner

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Brock Nelson scored 1:04 into overtime and the New York Islanders beat Minnesota 3-2 Sunday to move into a tie atop the Metropolitan Division.

Anders Lee scored for the fourth straight game and Jordan Eberle added a goal for New York, which has won five of seven. Thomas Greiss made 32 saves. The Islanders are tied with Washington with 91 points with 10 games remaining, but currently hold the tiebreaker with a greater scoring differential.

In the extra session, Nelson converted a feed from Mathew Barzal below the goal line to beat Alex Stalock with a wrister from the slot. Nelson, who added an assist, established a new career high of 47 points.

Zach Parise scored for the first time in 11 games for Minnesota, which pulled one point behind Arizona for the second wild card in the Western Conference. Jared Spurgeon also scored and Ryan Donato had two assists for 13 points in 13 games since being acquired from Boston on Feb. 20. Stalock finished with 17 saves.

Minnesota Wild Ryan Suter Alex Stalock
Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and goaltender Alex Stalock (AP Photo/Paul Battaglia)

New York, which had 42 shots in Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Detroit, didn’t get its first of 20 shots until midway through the opening period.

Eberle made it count, ending a 17-game scoring drought by beating Stalock on the short side after Barzal took forced a turnover.

Minnesota thought it tied the score 5 minutes into the second when Donato jabbed at a rebound of his own shot and the puck sneaked across the line. However, the Islanders successfully challenged that Greiss was interfered with during the scramble.

Parise did tie it six minutes later with a highlight-type individual effort. Ryan Suter centred the puck to the Wild forward at the edge of the blue paint. Parise backhanded the puck between his legs, then reached back between them to flick a forehand behind Greiss with 8:49 left.

Lee redirected a shot by Devon Toews that went off Spurgeon and Stalock for a 2-1 lead late in the second. It was New York’s first power-play goal in 25 attempts spanning 12 games.

Spurgeon scored on the power play in the third to it 2-2. Minnesota finished 2 for 6 with the man advantage.

NOTES: Lee also scored in four straight games from Nov. 29 to Dec. 6. … The Islanders are 10-1-1 in the second half of back-to-backs this season. … Suter recorded his 300th point with the Wild since he and Parise signed 13-year deals on July 4, 2012. … Islanders C Casey Cizikas (lower-body strain) missed his second straight game. His 19 goals are third-best on the team.


Islanders: Host Boston on Tuesday night.

Wild: Host Colorado on Tuesday night.


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Mike Cook, The Associated Press