The New York Islanders saw their three-game winning streak end on Thursday night, as the Isles fell 6-4 to the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center.
Brock Nelson scored a pair of goals to get the Islanders into a 4-4 tie in the third period, but Nino Niederreiter's wrister deflected off of Erik Haula's leg and past JF Berube for the eventual winner midway through the period. Mikael Granlund added an empty-netter with 1:41 to play, as the Wild won their 12th game in a row.
"I thought we played well," head coach Jack Capuano said. "At the end of the day we responded, we played hard and that's all you can ask of your team. We have to be better in certain areas of our game, but I liked the effort in our game."
Video: NYI@MIN: Nelson scores twice in just 42 seconds
The Islanders led 2-1 in the second period, but Minnesota scored three goals in a 1:20 span, going up 4-2 and changing the game in a flash.
Chris Stewart tied it up with a sharp-angled one-timer past Jaroslav Halak at 14:20, Jared Spurgeon slipped a wrister five-hole at 14:55 and Jordan Schroeder completed the blitz by potting a Jonas Brodin rebound at 15:40. The three quick strikes led to a goaltending change, as JF Berube relieved Halak.
"I thought we played a pretty decent second period other than that 3 or 4 minute stretch where we have up three goals," John Tavares said. "[It's] frustrating we gave up six. You're not going to win many games doing that."
Video: NYI@MIN: Leddy smacks a power-play goal past Dubnyk
Thursday's game was defined by extreme momentum swings and the Islanders had a goal burst in them as well as Nelson scored a pair of goals 42 seconds apart. The Warroad, MN, native snapped a cross-ice feed from Shane Prince past Devan Dubnyk 55 seconds into the third period and beat the Wild goalie again with a high wrister at 1:37.
"Two goal leads are tough so we just wanted to shoot pucks and if you get one, put the pressure on them and hopefully get the next one," Nelson said. "We were able to do that, but it's just tough when you're not able to get the next one, have a lead or establish more momentum."
Berube stopped 10 of 11 shots he saw in relief, but didn't have much of a chance on the winning deflection off Haula's leg. The Islanders pressed in the back half of the period and Ryan Strome hit the post in the dying minutes, but that's as close as the Isles came.
"We gave ourselves a good chance obviously. They got the lead again and we weren't able to find the tying goal," Tavares said.
Video: NYI@MIN: Chimera beats Dubnyk from the right circle
Marco Scandella opened the scoring for the Wild at 12:34 of the first period, but Jason Chimera responded 1:29 later for the Islanders. Eden Prairie, MN, native Nick Leddy scored a power-play goal to put the Islanders up 2-1 6:15 into the second period. Halak finished the night with 20 saves on 24 shots, while Dubnyk - who allowed four goals for the first time this season - stopped 24-of-28.
The Islanders' road trip resumes in Winnipeg on Saturday night. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.