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game recap

Shorthanded goals help Wild win against Islanders

Kunin scores one, first in NHL, to help build lead

by Jessi Pierce / Correspondent

ST. PAUL, Minn.  -- Luke Kunin and Zack Mitchell each scored his first NHL goal for the Minnesota Wild in a 6-4 win against the New York Islanders at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday.

Six players scored for Minnesota (3-3-2), including two shorthanded goals, one by Kunin.

New York (5-4-1) had won three in a row. The Islanders went 0-for-5 on the power play and are last in the NHL at 6.1 percent. They have given up five shorthanded goals in 33 attempts.


[WATCH: All Islanders vs. Wild highlights]


"The power play, just lethargic, lax, soft," Islanders coach Doug Weight said. "Zero battle, decisions, execution, little flip passes, half-speed breakout, just really unacceptable.

"It's just over-handle, soft plays, it's just embarrassing and it's going to change tomorrow. That's it."

The Wild scored three goals in a 2:30 span of the first period. Marcus Foligno scored on a rebound at 4:56 for a 1-0 lead, and Mikael Granlund forced a turnover along the boards and passed to Jason Zucker, who made it 2-0 at 6:09.

Video: NYI@MIN: Staal scores on shorthanded breakaway

Eric Staal capitalized on an Islanders turnover for a shorthanded goal at 7:26 for a 3-0 lead.

"We feel like we haven't been playing the way we're capable of, and I think that shows in our record," Zucker said. "For us, we wanted to make sure we came out and just played our game. And if we played our game, we knew we'd have success."

Anthony Beauvillier scored on the redirect of a Johnny Boychuk shot 10:49 to make it 3-1.

"[The Islanders] have had a penchant to always come back," Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I mean, they've scored 13 third-period goals, so you know they've been behind a lot. At the same time, they've come back a lot. And you could tell when Beauvillier scored the goal, they were pretty excited about that. I was worried. Maybe if we'd won eight in a row already or something, you'd feel a little bit more confident. But I was a little bit worried."

Kunin scored at 7:17 of the second period for a 4-1 lead. Nick Leddy made it 4-2 with a slap shot at 18:32.

Video: NYI@MIN: Mitchell banks his first goal off Greiss

Mitchell, who was recalled from Iowa of the American Hockey League on Thursday, scored at 4:14 of the third period to make it 5-2. He played his 15th NHL game.

Jonas Brodin scored at 6:11 to make it 6-2. Anders Lee scored at 10:09, and Mathew Barzal scored with four seconds left for the 6-4 final.

Devan Dubnyk made 28 saves for Minnesota. Greiss made 26 saves.


Goal of the game

Staal worked with Kunin for a 2-on-1 shorthanded rush and fed him for his goal. The 19-year-old has three points (one goal, two assists) in five NHL games.

"I would take it any way, whether it's 5-on-5, power play, shorthanded, I don't care as long as it's going into the back of the net," Kunin said.

Video: NYI@MIN: Kunin nets shorthanded goal on odd-man rush


Save of the game

Greiss denied Mikko Koivu at 12:18 of the second period to keep it 4-1.



Highlight of the game

Foligno swept the puck in on his way down to the ice off a shot by Minnesota defenseman Jared Spurgeon.

Video: NYI@MIN: Foligno sweeps home his own rebound


They said it

"We had an opportunity to come in here. ... They're pretty banged up, a lot of their top guys are out, and it's an opportunity for us to take advantage of a team that's just fighting it a little bit. Clearly, they came out and did a much better job tonight." -- Islanders forward Anders Lee

"It felt awesome. It's obviously a dream come true. You dream about scoring a goal in the NHL, and it was awesome to get it and get the win, the first win of the year in front of this awesome crowd. It's definitely a game I'll always remember." -- Wild forward Luke Kunin on scoring his first NHL goal


Need to know

Bailey has eight points (two goals, six assists) during a five-game point streak. … The Islanders have been outscored 24-16 in six road games. … Staal has seven points (four goals, three assists) in the past seven games. … Zucker has seven points (three goals, four assists) in the past seven games.


What's next

Wild: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-N, ATTSN-PT, NHL.TV)

Islanders: At the Nashville Predators on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; FS-TN, MSG+2, NHL.TV)

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