The Minnesota Wild (8-3-0) got a goal and an assist each from forwards Brandon Duhaime and Ryan Hartman in the win over the New York Islanders (5-3-2) by a score of 5-2 on Sunday night. Minnesota erased two one-goal leads in the game and have won seven come-from-behind games this season, the most in the NHL. Hartman scored the game-tying goal in the third period and leads the Wild in goals (7) and plus/minus (+7). Zach Parise, who played in his first game against Minnesota since his buyout last offseason, had a shot on goal but posted a -2 +/-. Minnesota goaltender Kaapo Kahkonen made 19 saves in the game and got his first win of the season.
The Wild got out to a fast start on Sunday night, as they outshot the Islanders 14-10 in the first period and had plenty of quality scoring chances. However, Minnesota once again let up the game’s first goal as the Islanders scored with 18.2 seconds left in the period. New York forward Anders Lee collected a blocked shot in the slot and fired a puck past a screened Kahkonen.
The Wild would find a response at the midway point of the second period. It looked as though Brandon Duhaime scored his second career goal as his shot got past Semyon Varlamov, but the goal was awarded to Nick Bjugstad on the deflection. The goal was Bjugstad’s second of the season.
The Islanders would strike back just two minutes later as Anders Lee scored his second goal of the game on a 2-on-1. Lee has now scored six goals and five assists in his 13 career games against Minnesota.
Early in the third period the Wild had the majority of chances and finally capitalized at the 7:17 mark. Ryan Hartman got the puck at the top of circle and put a shot on goal. After collecting his own rebound he moved the puck to the forehand and wristed his seventh goal of the season over Varlamov’s glove.
The Wild continued the offensive pressure and took the lead just two minutes later. Brandon Duhaime got a pass from Hartman at the blue line, skated to an open area of the ice, and scored the game-winning goal with a twisted wrister over Varlamov’s left shoulder. It was great to see Duhaime score in a traditional way, as his first career goal was scored on a strange deflection.
After taking the lead Minnesota played solid in their own end, including great performances from defensemen Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba. The pair were both rewarded for their play, as they each scored an empty-net goal to seal the Wild win. The two goals came 58 seconds apart and traveled a combined 355 feet down the ice.
The Wild will now head back out on the road and will begin a three-game road trip on Wednesday night against the Arizona Coyotes (1-10-1). After their game against Arizona the Wild will play the Vegas Golden Knights and the Seattle Kraken. Wednesday night’s game begins at 9:00 p.m. CST and will be broadcasted on TNT.
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