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game recap

Islanders defeat Wild for Berube's first NHL win

New York goalie missed 22 games with injury

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / Staff Writer

Berube's great kick save

MIN@NYI: Berube extends his pad to deny Koivu

2/2/16: Jean-Francois Berube makes a terrific pad save on Mikko Koivu to keep the game scoreless in the 1st period

  • 00:47 •

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders goalie Jean-Francois Berube made 40 saves for his first career NHL victory in a 5-3 win against the Minnesota Wild at Barclays Center on Tuesday.

It was the second career start for Berube, who allowed four goals on 34 shots in a 4-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 10.

"It's always hard to get the first one and I finally have it and now I can look forward," Berube said. [Islanders defenseman Thomas] Hickey got [the puck] for me. Probably going to give it to my mom. My parents will keep it at home and keep it safe. They put in a lot of effort growing up, going to practices early and everything, so that is definitely for them."

Berube was recalled from Bridgeport of the American Hockey League on Monday. In four games during a conditioning stint, he was 4-0-0 and allowed four goals. He missed 22 games because of a lower-body injury.

Video: MIN@NYI: Tavares snipes wrister for a 5-2 lead

The 24-year-old made 19 saves in the first period for New York (26-16-6), which is 4-1-1 in their past six games.

"I think all game he played great," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "He really made some big saves, and got the first [win]. He's worked really hard to get back from injury. He is very talented. Not many people know him since they haven't seen him all year. But for us, shooting on him, seeing him in practice, knowing how hard he worked, he's a great guy and you can see the skill set that he has."

Berube found out on Monday that he would start and kept the Islanders in the game early.

"I think it's better [to see more shots] it got me in the game really quick and I felt really comfortable out there. It was a good game overall," Berube said.

"Everything happened so quick. [The coaches] told me [Monday] at practice, so I didn't have too much time to get ready, but the time in Bridgeport helped me to get focused for this game. ... I have been practicing with the guys all year. ... The play was fast, but the guys did a good job in front of me keeping shots to the outside."

New York scored three goals in the second period, including two in the first six minutes. Mikhail Grabovksi scored with a wrist shot from in close at 3:20 and Anders Lee tipped in a Travis Hamonic point shot at 5:07 to make it 2-1.

Jason Pominville scored with 1:24 left in the second period to tie the game, 2-2. He took a shot from the slot which was denied by Berube, but he got his own rebound and scored.

Brock Nelson answered 42 seconds later, scoring his team-leading 20th goal, and sixth in as many games to give the Islanders a 3-2 lead with 41.5 seconds left in the period.

Minnesota (23-18-9) is 1-7-1 in its past nine games and has scored 14 goals.

"You never want to give one up to start a period or finish a period and that one hurt," Wild forward Zach Parise said. "We have to start winning some games. ... Losing another one again makes it even tougher for us."

Former Islanders forward Thomas Vanek was on the ice for Nelson's goal.

"We had a ton of energy, we looked great and then all of a sudden we lost it," he said. "As tough as this one is, we have to put this one behind us, have a great practice tomorrow and get a win Thursday (at the New York Rangers). ... There's only so many games left. There's no switch to turn. We have to come out hard like we did tonight and finish it."

Frans Nielsen scored on the power play 2:49 into the third period to give New York a 4-2 lead. Minnesota challenged for goaltender interference, but video replay confirmed the call on the ice. It was Nielsen's 15th goal.

"I give our guys credit," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. "They came out hard, they fired a lot of shots to the net. ... I thought we locked it down in the second period, we had a really good second period, and in the third we played well too."

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk was pulled in the third after allowing a goal to Tavares at 4:52. He allowed five goals on 30 shots. Dubnyk was replaced by Darcy Kuemper, who made eight saves.

Charlie Coyle and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Wild. Niederreiter scored for the first time in 14 games.

Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk missed his 10th straight game because of an upper-body injury.

Video: Islanders defeat Wild for Berube's first NHL win

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