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Colton Gillies scores first NHL goal to spark Wild's 4-1 win over Islanders

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Colton Gillies scored his first NHL goal, giving Minnesota the lead in the second period and sparking the Wild to a 4-1 victory over New York - the Islanders' eighth straight loss.

Stephane Veilleux, Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard also scored to help he Wild end a six-game losing streak. They earned a point Wednesday night in an overtime loss to Calgary, but had only seven goals during the skid.

The Islanders have given up 39 goals over eight games in December, with only one point to their credit from an overtime loss Tuesday night in Washington. They were held to a season-low 16 shots, including just three in the second period, by the Wild.

Doug Weight's perfect across-the-crease pass, nine seconds into a 5-on-3 situation, put Richard Park in position for the game's first goal against his former team.

The Wild had four power plays, 26 shots and several prime chances to score over the first two periods, but they trailed until Veilleux's third goal of the season - prompted by a precise behind-the-net feed from James Sheppard - with 57 seconds left before the second intermission.

Marian Gaborik, in his second game back from a two-month injury hiatus, had a handful of close-up shots he couldn't poke past goalie Joey MacDonald. Andrew Brunette's rebound attempt of Gaborik's miss bounced off the crossbar.

MacDonald, filling in for Rick DiPietro while the regular recovers from knee surgery, was doing a decent job until Gillies pushed in a rebound of bruiser Derek Boogaard's rare shot during a 2-on-1 rush.

The Wild finished with a season-high 39 shots, leaving the ice to a rousing ovation from the crowd.

Kyle Okposo returned from a 13-game absence, his sprained wrist healed sooner than anticipated. The University of Minnesota product and 2006 first-round draft pick's comeback coincided neatly with the Islanders' only visit to his hometown, too. Blake Comeau, who is a minus-8 in six games since coming back from the minors, was scratched to make room for his fellow prospect. Okposo was on a line with Mike Comrie, who also came off injured reserve after missing 17 games due to a hip problem.

Notes: The Wild put RW Owen Nolan, who has played in only 17 of 31 games, on injured reserve with an unspecified lower body ailment. Krys Kolanos was called up from the minors for the fourth time already this season, and he filled in at C while Eric Belanger sat out with an illness. ... Islanders D Andy Sutton also played for the Wild for their first 1 1/2 seasons until he was traded to Atlanta for Hnat Domenichelli in early 2002. ... DiPietro has resumed practising with the team.

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