Wild’s Moulson has big game in win over former Isles teammates
Matt Moulson scored twice and had three points in his first game against the Islanders since being traded earlier this season, and Ilya Bryzgalov was solid in making 36 saves as the Minnesota Wild made the most of 22 shots and beat New York 6-0 on Tuesday night.
Moulson, an impending free agent dealt by the Islanders to Buffalo in October before being shipped to Minnesota at the trade deadline, scored the first of the Wild’s two goals in the opening period and their third in the final frame.
He waved his stick to cheers before leaving the ice at the end of the game as he was announced as the No. 1 star of the game.
Jared Spurgeon, a sixth-round pick of the Islanders in the 2008 draft, made it 2-0.
Mikael Granlund pushed the lead to 3-0 in the second, defenseman Clayton Stoner scored his first goal of the season on a breakaway in the third, and Justin Fontaine was credited with a goal after a video review to make it 5-0. Mikko Koivu had three assists to move past Marian Gaborik for the most points in Wild history with 438.
Moulson closed the scoring with a power-play goal with 3:26 left. It was his 20th of the season and third in seven games with Minnesota.
Bryzgalov earned his second shutout of the season and 32nd in the NHL.
Anders Nilsson stopped 16 shots for New York, but couldn’t match his fine performance of Saturday night when he beat Buffalo with a 33-save effort in a 4-1 win.
Moulson was warmly welcomed back to Long Island in his first appearance against the Islanders since being dealt. His name was cheered when announced as part of the Wild’s starting lineup, then he was feted with more applause when the Islanders thanked him on the center ice video board. A roar even went up when he scored his first goal at 12:23 of the first.
After his second of the night, fans chanted ”We want Moulson!”
Spurgeon, a defenseman who never played for the Islanders, took a pass from Dany Heatley at the top of the left circle and one-timed a hard drive that caromed in off the post behind Nilsson with 4:03 left in the period.
Bryzgalov was the much busier of the goalies in the opening frame and he was sharp while making his second start since being acquired by Minnesota from Edmonton on March 4.
He held off several in-tight chances by the Islanders and even was quick to block a deflected shot off the stick of teammate Stoner that came in hard off a New York drive.
Granlund’s seventh of the season, gave the Wild a three-goal edge with 3:58 remaining in the second.
Fontaine’s 13th goal zipped in and out of the net 7:06 into the third, but play continued for over a minute before the next stoppage when a video review took place. Moulson and Koivu earned assists.
NOTES: New York D Brian Strait broke his left hand while blocking a shot in the second period. … Moulson, who began his NHL career with Los Angeles, has three goals in two career games vs. New York. He had 118 goals and 105 assists in 304 games with the Islanders. … Islanders D Kevin Czuczman made his NHL debut one week after the free agent out of Lake Superior State signed with the team. … The Wild were whistled for penalties for the first time in three games.