NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, March 18th (All times Eastern)
Minnesota Wild (35-23-10) at New York Islanders (26-34-9), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Minnesota Wild hope to find the win column on Tuesday night and snap a four-game series losing streak to the New York Islanders in the process.
After going 1-0-3 over a recent homestand, the Wild kicked off a three-game road trip with a 4-1 setback to the Boston Bruins. Jason Pominville had his club's lone goal and Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves.
Minnesota, which wraps its swing on Thursday versus the New Jersey Devils, is 6-2-4 in its past 12 games and has a five-point edge for a wild card spot in the Western Conference.
"We were really happy with our first period," said Minnesota forward Kyle Brodziak. "We felt like we were playing the game like we were supposed to. It's too bad we couldn't get a couple breaks early on, that might've changed the game a little bit. But yeah, it's tough when you give up two quick ones like that."
The Wild could give Ilya Bryzgalov his second start with the club tonight since he was acquired from the Edmonton Oilers. Bryzgalov's previous outing in a Minnesota uniform was a 3-2 shootout loss on March 9 to St. Louis in which he made 20 saves.
In nine career meetings with the Islanders, Bryzgalov is 4-1-2 with a 2.39 goals against average.
The Wild have not beaten the Islanders since Nov. 20, 2010 in Minnesota. Their series losing streak reached four games with a 5-4 home setback on Dec. 29.
New York has won four of its past six at home versus Minnesota and got a pair of goals and an assist from Kyle Okposo in the road victory this season.
Okposo comes in having logged a goal and six assists in three games last week. He was named the NHL's Second Star of the week on Monday, two days after he scored and notched an assist in a 4-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres.
Frans Nielsen, Ryan Strome and Cal Clutterbuck also scored, while Lubomir Visnovsky assisted on three goals. Anders Nilsson posted 33 saves as New York has split the first two of a four-game homestand.
"We played a full 60 minutes," Nilsson said. "They scored early in the third period but we were able to bounce back and that's the character we need to have every game."
Nilsson may have earned another start tonight and he has never before faced the Wild.
03/18 10:44:48 ET