Islanders’ RW Kyle Okposo scored his second goal in the third period with 5:48 left to lead New York to a 5-4 victory over Minnesota in front of a sellout crowd of 18,851 fans Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center. D Ryan Suter, D Jonas Brodin, RW Nino Niederreiter and RW Justin Fontaine scored for the Wild, while Josh Harding made 26 saves in the loss. Next up, Minnesota continues its four-game homestand with the St. Louis Blues Tuesday at 5 p.m. CT on FOX Sports North and KFAN 100.3 FM.
The Wild moved to 12-3-5 in one-goal games this season. Nine of the last 11 Wild wins have been decided by one goal.
D Ryan Suter netted his first goal of the season to open the game’s scoring and ranks. He now ranks fourth on the team with 23 points (1-22=23) – his 22 assists lead the Wild and are T-5th amongst NHL defensemen. He skated 33:14 tonight, topping the 30-minute mark in six of the last eight games, 15 of the last 26 contests and 20 times overall this season.
C Mikko Koivu became the first player in franchise history to amass 300 assists, earning the mark on Brodin’s goal. He netted his 301st NHL assist on Niederreiter’s goal, recording his sixth multi-point game this season and 99th of his career. The Wild captain leads Minnesota with 30 points (8-22=30) in 41 games this season.
Facing his former team for the first time, RW Nino Niederreiter tallied a goal and assist for his second career multi-point game (both with Minnesota). He ranks T-3rd on Minnesota with 12 assists and T-5th with seven goals in 41 games this season. He previously totaled three points (2-1=3) in 64 games over parts of two seasons with the Islanders (2010-12).
LW Mike Rupp tallied an assist on Suter’s goal, earning his first point of the season in seven games. He now sits at 99 career points.
RW Justin Fontaine scored his second goal in as many games and has recorded three points (2-1=3) in his last four games. He has 11 points in 35 games this season (8-3=11).
G Josh Harding started his first game since Dec. 17 and moved to 18-6-3 in 28 games this season – T-3rd for most wins amongst NHL goalies. He suffered his first lost at home since Nov. 29 vs. Colorado. He is 14-2-0 on home ice this season, posting a 35-11-2 record in his career starts at Xcel Energy Center, including 28-6-1 since Jan. 27, 2010 and 17-3-0 in his last 20 starts in Saint Paul.
With a sellout crowd of 18,851 fans tonight, Minnesota hosted its 10,000,000th Wild fan at Xcel Energy Center: Emily Gebhart of Eagan. A total of 10,005,259 fans have attended 494 regular season games, 36 preseason games and 15 playoff matches at Xcel Energy Center, including 487 sellouts.
C John Tavares, RW Cal Clutterbuck, D Thomas Hickey and RW Kyle Okposo scored for New York, while G Kevin Poulin made 33 saves.