The Minnesota Wild (3-3-2) snapped the New York Islanders' (5-4-1) three-game winning streak Thursday night with a 6-4 decision at Xcel Energy Center.
The Islanders allowed three goals in the opening 7:26 of the first period on Thursday, putting themselves in an early hole. Included in the early blitz was the first of two shorthanded goals against, the second time this season the Islanders have allowed a pair of shorties.
"We had another sluggish start today," captain John Tavares said. "We are kind of shooting ourselves in the foot with the power play. We're not creating a lot and giving up opportunities and goals against. It makes it tough to come back once you're down three early."
Video: NYI Recap: Bailey has three assists in loss to Wild
The Wild built their lead quickly, bunching their three goals in a 2:30 span. Marcus Foligno opened the scoring, finding space in front of the net and sweeping a Jared Spurgeon rebound past Thomas Greiss (27 saves) at 4:56. An errant chip up the glass turned into a Wild two-on-one as Jason Zucker finished a feed form Mikael Granlund at 6:09 and Eric Staal capped off the three-goal burst with a shorthanded breakaway at 7:26.
"Ill-advised plays to really give them their goals," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "The power play was lethargic, lax and soft… It was just really unacceptable."
Video: NYI@MIN: Beauvillier redirects Boychuk's big blast
Anthony Beauvillier got one back for the Islanders before the end of the period, deflecting a Johnny Boychuk point shot past Devan Dubnyk (29 saves) on a delayed penalty call at 10:49.
Weight's coach's challenge saved the Islanders from falling behind 4-1 before the end of the first, overturning a Chris Stewart wraparound due to goalie interference, as Marcus Foligno shoved Casey Cizikas into Greiss. The coach hoped that would have been the break his team needed to get back into what he viewed as a winnable game.
The Wild made it a 4-1 game on their second shorthanded goal of the night, as Luke Kunin scored his first NHL goal, finishing a two-on-one rush with Staal.
Video: NYI@MIN: Leddy strikes on a fluttering chance
Eden Prairie, MN, native Nick Leddy scored his first of the season before the end of the second, cutting the deficit to 4-2 with a long-range slap shot off the rush at 18:31.
That was as close as the Islanders came, as Zack Mitchell banked his first career goal off Greiss from below the goal line at 4:14 to make it 5-2. Jonas Brodin's point shot deflected off Calvin de Haan in front to make it 6-2 at 6:11, but Lee, an Edina, MN, native, made it 6-3 at 10:09. Mathew Barzal scored his second career goal in the final seconds of Thursday's game to arrive at the 6-4 final.
"Right now we just need to regroup and get back and get ready for Nashville," Lee said. "Tonight was unacceptable and we have to be able to rebound."
Video: NYI@MIN: Lee beats Dubnyk with sly backhander
NOTES AND NUMBERS:
Josh Bailey recorded three assists on Thursday night, extending his point streak to five games (2G, 6A)… Anders Lee's sixth goal of the season extended his point streak to four games (4G, 2A)… An Islanders defenseman recorded a goal for the second straight game after going eight games without a goal to start the season… Leddy finished the game with a goal and an assist… The Islanders power play finished 0-for-5 on Thursday… The Islanders killed off a 5-on-3 for the second straight contest.
Video: NYI@MIN: Barzal banks one home along the goal line
The Islanders wrap up their two-game road trip on Saturday night in Nashville. Puck drop against the reigning Western Conference champions is at 8 p.m. eastern.