Wild seek home sweep of N.Y. teams
The Minnesota Wild hope to break out in song after their Sunday game. And the preferred tune would be "New York, New York."
After snapping a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 victory against the visiting New York Rangers on Saturday night, the Wild will play host to the New York Islanders on Sunday, getting a double dose of the teams from the Big Apple.
Ryan Donato scored twice to lead the Wild over the Rangers. It was the second career multi-goal game for Donato, who has four goals and seven assists in 12 games since being acquired in a Feb. 20 trade that sent Charlie Coyle to the Boston Bruins.
"I think we wanted to come out (as) aggressive as possible," Donato, who scored both of his goals in the first period, told NHL.com. "We knew they were probably a little bit tired, so we wanted to jump on them as early as possible, and it worked out for us."
Donato's first game for the Wild came Feb. 21 on the road against the Rangers as the Wild snapped a five-game skid in the first of back-to-back games.
Minnesota went on to win its next four games and got points in its next six. The Wild might need a similar streak to clinch a Western Conference playoff berth.
"These are do-or-die points for us, every game is going to be like that from here on in, so I thought it was a good effort from the guys," Wild forward Luke Kunin told NHL.com. "That's what it's going to take for us to be successful down the stretch. We need everyone going, goaltenders going, and we had that tonight."
The Islanders are coming off a disappointing 2-1 loss Saturday afternoon at Detroit. Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier stopped 41 shots to win for the first time in more than a month.
"If Bernier doesn't have that night, we probably win 4-1," Islanders coach Barry Trotz said. "But they got a fortunate goal and we probably have 25 scoring chances and couldn't bury them."
Anders Lee scored the lone goal for the Islanders, and Thomas Greiss made 20 saves. Lee netted his team-leading 26th goal of the season and extended his goal-scoring streak to three games.
"He's just playing good hockey right now, winning battles, going to the net and getting good looks," teammate Mathew Barzal said. "He's a proven goal-scorer, so he's doing his job and playing great."
The Islanders had won two consecutive games and four of their previous five before facing the Red Wings, who have the league's third-lowest point total.
"I don't see this as a setback," Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey told reporters. "It's frustrating, I thought we played a pretty good game. Their goaltender was excellent. It's one of those games. You go through 82 games, and if you play like that, you're going to win most of them, but not tonight."
One of Detroit's goals deflected into the net off New York defenseman Ryan Pulock.
"It's discouraging, but it doesn't have to last for too long," Hickey said, according to NHL.com. "We have another chance (Sunday). ... I like our chances if we play like that again."
--Field Level MediaHome