Wild hold off Islanders, run winning streak to 5
The Wild improved to 8-0-1 in their last 9 games
Brandon Duhaime and Joel Eriksson Ek scored early in the first period Sunday night for the visiting Minnesota Wild, who held off a furious comeback by the New York Islanders to earn a 4-3 win in Elmont, N.Y.
Matt Boldy and Kirill Kaprizov also scored for the Wild, who won their fifth straight and improved to 8-0-1 in their last nine games despite being outshot 43-21. Goalie Kaapo Kahkonen made 40 saves.
Brock Nelson, Ross Johnston and Oliver Wahlstrom scored for the Islanders, who have lost two straight for the first time since an 11-game skid that ran through Dec. 5. Goalie Ilya Sorokin recorded 17 saves.
The Wild scored on their second and third shots of the game to take a quick 2-0 lead. Sorokin deflected Eriksson Ek's backhander from the goal line, but Duhaime swooped in and backhanded the rebound at the 3:36 mark.
A tripping penalty on Kyle Palmieri generated the power play that resulted in the Wild's next goal just 63 seconds later.
Eriksson Ek, lingering in the right faceoff circle, appeared to want to pass across the ice to Mats Zuccarello. But with Jean-Gabriel Pageau blocking his lane to Zuccarello, Eriksson Ek turned and tucked a shot into the corner of the net.
The Islanders cut the gap in half with 6:04 left, when Robin Salo's shot was blocked by Alex Goligoski and Nelson pounced on the rebound and fired beyond Kahkonen's glove.
In the second period, Boldy helped Kevin Fiala win a puck battle with Salo behind the Islanders' net near the end of a sequence that ended with Boldy dashing in front of the net and getting a stick on Victor Rask's shot 2:39 into the period.
The Islanders pulled within one again just 1:24 later, when Duhaime stumbled near center ice and lost control of the puck to Johnston, who raced in and scored the breakaway by firing a shot past Kahkonen's stick.
The Wild took another two-goal lead on another redirect with 8:33 left in the third, when Kaprizov, battling in front of the net with Scott Mayfield, got a stick on Matt Dumba's shot.
Wahlstrom capped a three-shot sequence by the Islanders when he dove and shoved the puck into the net with four minutes remaining, but New York couldn't get the equalizer despite pulling Sorokin with a little more than two minutes left and subsequently peppering Kahkonen with five shots.