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Game Preview: Islanders at Wild

by Cory Wright / New York Islanders

New York Islanders

11-21-7 (29 points – 8th in Metropolitan Division, 15th in Eastern Conference)
6-13-0 road
Minnesota Wild
20-15-5 (45 points - 4th in Central Division, 9th in Western Conference)
14-3-2 home
8:00 p.m.
Xcel Energy Center
St. Paul, MN
Television: MSG PLUS
Play-by-play: Jiggs McDonald; Color: Butch Goring

Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM, WRCN 103.9 FM
Play-by-play :Chris King, Color: Greg Picker
2011-12 season series (2-0-0)

It’s been two years since their last meeting, but the Islanders edged the Wild 2-1 in both games during the 2011-12 season. Frans Nielsen scored the winning goal in each game,
tipping in the eventual winner on Oct. 10, 2011 and netting the game-decider in a shootout on Dec. 17. The Islanders have won three straight against Minnesota, but the Wild have added three key players (Zach Parise, Ryan Suter and Josh Harding) since then. 

Wild player to watch
Ryan Suter - Defense

A top offensive defenseman, Ryan Suter is 12th in league scoring amongst defensemen and leads the Wild with 22 assists this season. The 2013 Norris trophy finalist scored a career-high 46 points (7g/39a) with the Nashville Predators in the 2011-12 season. The Madison, WI, native joined the Wild as a free agent that offseason, signing a mammoth 13-year, $98M contract. Suter is also expected to be on the 2014 US Olympic team.
Islanders Storylines
Into the Wild: The Islanders head to Minnesota for the first time since a 2-1 shootout win two years ago. The Wild use home ice to their advantage and are 14-3-2 at Xcel Energy Center this season.
Streaking: Frans Nielsen (3g/2a) and Kyle Okposo (2g/3a) are both riding five-game point streaks, while Thomas Vanek (3g/2a) has points in four straight.
Tavares Day-to-Day: John Tavares missed Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury and is considered day-to-day. Tavares had played 246 straight games prior to Saturday.
The Matchup
15.4% (22nd)
73.1% (29th)

Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10

18.6 (13th)
86.4% (4th)

New York Islanders previous game lines
26 Thomas Vanek – 29 Brock Nelson – 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner – 51 Frans Nielsen – 12 Josh Bailey
16 Peter Regin– 18 Ryan Strome
15 Cal Clutterbuck
17 Matt Martin – 53 Casey Cizikas – 13 Colin McDonald

47 Andrew MacDonald –
14 Thomas Hickey
44 Calvin de Haan 3 Travis Hamonic
7 Matt Carkner
– 37 Brian Strait

20 Evgeni Nabokov
60 Kevin Poulin

Minnesota Wild previous game lines
22 Nino Niederreiter – 9 Mikko Koivu – 3 Charlie Coyle
15 Dany Heatley – 64 Mikael Granlund – 29 Jason Pominville
24 Matt Cooke – 21 Kyle Brodziak – 14 Justin Fontaine
19 Stephane Veilleux – 28 Zenon Konopka – 17 Torrey Mitchell

20 Ryan Suter – 25 Jonas Brodin
6 Marco Scandella – 46 Jared Spurgeon
2 Keith Ballard – 39 Nate Prosser

32 Niklas Backstrom
31 Johan Gustafsson

Quote of the Day:
Head coach Jack Capuano on Saturday's loss:
"I think the guys worked hard. That's a pretty good hockey club over there. They're a big team, they're a veteran team. We've got a young club in there. We did some good things, we made some mistakes.

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