Wild blank Islanders
UNIONDALE, N.Y. — Minnesota left winger Matt Moulson, playing against his former team for the first time, scored the first and last goals on Tuesday night in an atypical offensive outburst by the Wild in a 6-0 rout of the New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.
Moulson scored 118 goals in four-plus seasons for the Islanders before he was traded to Buffalo in the deal that sent Thomas Vanek to New York on Oct. 29. Moulson was sent to Minnesota on March 5, the same day the Islanders traded Vanek to Montreal.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon, center Mikael Granlund, defenseman Cayton Stoner and right winter Justin Fontaine all scored a goal each as the Wild, currently the No. 1 wild card in the Western Conference, ensured it would remain at least five points ahead of ninth-place Dallas, pending the Stars’ outcome at Pittsburgh.
The six goals were a season high for Minnesota and its most since a 5-3 win over Washington on Jan. 4. The Wild had scored three goals or less 19 times in its previous 24 games, including its last 12 entering Tuesday.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, making just his second start for the Wild since he was acquired from Edmonton on March 4, made 36 saves in posting his 32nd career shutout.
Islanders goaltender Anders Nilsson made six saves.
The Islanders wasted little time in paying tribute to Moulson. During the first timeout of the first period, the words “Thank you Matt Moulson” were displayed on the scoreboard as the crowd of 14,888 offered a warm ovation.
Unfortunately for the Islanders, Moulson wasted little time in exacting a bit of revenge. A few minutes after the tribute aired, Moulson put the Wild ahead by poking back a rebound of a shot by right winger Justin Fontaine with 8:37 left. The announcement of Moulson’s goal elicited louder cheers than the homage earlier in the period.
NY Islanders 0
Minnesota 2 1 3— 6
NY Islanders 0 0 0— 0
First Period—1, Minnesota, Moulson 19 (Fontaine, Koivu) 12:23. 2, Minnesota, Spurgeon 4 (Heatley, Niederreiter) 15:57.
Second Period—3, Minnesota, Granlund 7 (Pominville, Parise) 16:02.
Third Period—4, Minnesota, Stoner 1 (Koivu) 4:56. 5, Minnesota, Fontaine 13 (unassisted) 7:06. 6, Minnesota, Moulson 20 (Brodziak, Scandella) 16:34 (pp).
Shots on Goal—Minnesota 6-11-5—22. NY Islanders 16-8-12—36.
Power-play opportunities—Minnesota 1 of 3. NY Islanders 0 of 3.
Goalies—Minnesota Bryzgalov 6-8-6 (36 shots-36 saves). NY Islanders Nilsson 3-5-2 (22-16).
A—14,888 (16,250). T—2:26.