The New York Islanders enjoyed 3-0 and 4-1 leads over Minnesota Tuesday night, but the Wild rallied in the third period to overcome that major deficit and win 5-4.
Minnesota’s rally started at 2:51 of the third period when Mikko Koivu found the back of the net for the fifth time this season. The Islanders contained the Wild for nearly nine minutes after that before Erik Haula, Thomas Vanek, and Nino Niederreiter scored three unanswered goals within the span of just 4:24 minutes to shift the pendulum towards Minnesota.
It was the first time that the Wild had overcome a three-goal deficit at home since Oct. 2009, per the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo. On the other end of the spectrum, the Islanders have been outscored 7-0 in the third period over their last two contests.
Chad Johnson was the losing goaltender after stopping 25 of 30 shots. Jaroslav Halak was scheduled to start, but he suffered an upper-body injury, per NHL.com. Halak was still able to serve as the team’s backup.
The Wild now 15-10-1, but if the playoffs started today, it wouldn’t be enough to for them to gain entry in the competitive Western Conference.