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Wild fall to Islanders after blowing 3-0 lead

The Sports Xchange

ST. PAUL — Center Kyle Okposo scored twice in the third period as the New York Islanders rallied from a 3-0 deficit to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4. Okposo, playing in his hometown, got his 13th and 14th goals of the season just minutes apart, handing Minnesota its first home loss of the month.

Center John Tavares, right wing Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Thomas Hickey also scored for the Islanders (12-21-7), who trailed by three goals midway through the game but had forged a 3-3 tie less than seven minutes into the final period. Kevin Poulin had 33 saves for New York.

Defensemen Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin, and right wingers Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine scored for Minnesota (20-16-5), which lost its fifth game in a row. Wild goaltender Josh Harding, who had missed the team’s four previous games due to injury, returned to the net and had 26 saves.

Minnesota opened the game with eight unanswered shots on goal, and the last of them reached the back of the net. After a scramble in front of Poulin, Suter corralled a loose puck 20 feet out from the crease and lifted a wrist shot into the upper left corner. It was Suter’s first goal of the season.

The Wild dominated the first period, out-shooting the Islanders 16-8, but could not build on their lead until the opening shift of the second period. That’s when Brodin’s long shot from the blue line was knocked down by Poulin but trickled over the line for a 2-0 Minnesota lead. Just a short time later, Niederreiter made it 3-0, scoring his seventh of the season.