The Wild played the game without Mikko Koivu, Guillaume Latendresse, Devin Setoguchi and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, four of the six players that made up its top two lines on opening night. Add Casey Wellman, who was called up to fill in for the missing players, and you have a pretty good lineup sitting in the training room.
With so many injuries, the Wild called up Fridley native Jarod Palmer. He made his NHL-debut and took six shots on goal, which tied with two Islanders players for the game-high. His presence on the ice gave the Wild its 33rd different player to play this season. The healed and current injuries have cost the Wild over 120 man games.
The Islanders did not look like the worst team in the Eastern Conference and third lowest point total in the league. It put pressure on the Wild, forcing the home team to chip the puck out of the defensive zone rather than building a fore check.
Niklas Backstrom stopped 35 shots and kept the Wild in the game for most of the first and second periods.
The Wild (20-8-5) were able to salvage a point when Cal Clutterbuck corralled a loose puck at the side of the goal and tucked it into the net nearly half way through the third period. Dany Heatley took the initial shot that bounced off legs before hitting Islanders goaltender Al Montoya and sliding wide of the goal. Matt Cullen also assisted on the goal.
The Islanders (10-14-6) got on the board first just over half way through the second period when Andrew MacDonald rifled a shot over the right shoulder of Backstrom. The goal came moments after the Wild killed off a questionable boarding penalty on Warren Peters.
The Wild embarks on a three-game road trip through the Northwest Division Canadian teams, starting on Monday in Vancouver.
No. 3 – Cal Clutterbuck. The Wild forward scored a goal.
No. 2 – Andrew MacDonald. The Islanders defenseman scored a goal.
No. 1 – Frans Nielsen. The Islanders forward scored the only goal of the shootout.
New York 0 1 0 0 – 2
Minnesota 0 0 1 0 – 1
First Period – None. Penalties – None.
Second Period – 1, New York, MacDonald 2 (Taveras, Moulson), 11:13. Penalties – Bench, Min (too many men; served by Palmer), 4:42; Peters, Min (boarding), 9:07; Okposo, NYI (hooking), 15:16.
Third Period – 2, Minnesota, Clutterbuck 9 (Cullen, Heatley), 8:42. Penalties – None.
Overtime – None. Penalties – None.
Shots on goal – New York 9-15-10-2 36. Minnesota 5-4-9-3 21.
Shootout – New York - Taveras (saved), Nielsen (goal). Minnesota - Cullen (saved), Zidlicky (saved), Heatley (saved).
Goalies – New York, Montoya (20-21). Minnesota, Backstrom (35-36). A – 18,209. Referees – Brian Pochmara, Brad Watson. Linesmen – Andy McElman, Shane Heyer.