National Hockey League
- Barclays Center PUCK DROP -
Minnesota Wild
ML: MIN -107
NY Islanders Islanders
ML: NYI -103
Goalie Performance
Devan Dubnyk
#40 G Devan Dubnyk
Jean-Francois Berube
#30 G Jean-Francois Berube
0.833 SV% 25 SV
0.930 SV% 40 SV
Scoring Leaders
Nino Niederreiter
#22 RW Nino Niederreiter Goals Assists 1 1
Matt Dumba
#24 D Matt Dumba Goals Assists 0 2
Jason Pominville
#29 RW Jason Pominville Goals Assists 1 0
Mikhail Grabovski
#84 C Mikhail Grabovski Goals Assists 1 1
John Tavares
#91 C John Tavares Goals Assists 1 1
Frans Nielsen
#51 C Frans Nielsen Goals Assists 1 0

NEW YORK -- New York Islanders head coach Jack Capuano took notice of the reactions he got Tuesday following his announcement at morning skate that rookie goalie Jean Francois-Berube would draw the start in the first game of the post-All-Star Break sprint to the playoffs.

"A lot of people looked at me like I had three heads," Capuano said.

Nope. Just three starting-caliber goalies.

Berube survived a frantic first period to record 40 saves and earn his first NHL win as the Islanders beat the Minnesota Wild 5-3 in the first post-All-Star break game for both teams at Barclays Center.

"Just look at his save percentage the last five games -- four at Bridgeport (of the AHL) and the one here," Capuano said. "He deserves the start. He's part of our team. We've got three goalies. It's not going to change."

Especially with the Islanders beginning a season-ending 69-day stretch in which they will play 35 games.

Starter Jaroslav Halak played at a high level since joining New York prior to last season but has been prone to minor injuries (he missed 13 games due to four stints on injured reserve) while backup Thomas Greiss is just four appearances shy of tying his career high for a single season (25).

"We have three goalies and we've got a lot of hockey," Capuano said. "They're not going anywhere. Our general manager (Garth Snow) picked Berube off waivers (from the Los Angeles Kings in October) because he's a very good goaltender."

Berube earned the start Tuesday -- his second of the season -- by being better than very good during a recent conditioning stint at Bridgeport, where he went 4-0 with a 0.97 goals-against average for the Islanders' AHL affiliate.

The Wild wasted no time Tuesday getting Berube acclimated to the NHL. Minnesota fired 20 shots at Berube in the first period and took a 1-0 lead when center Charlie Coyle eluded defenseman Scott Mayfield along the left side and beat Berube with a backhander with 5:26 remaining.

"I think it's better that way -- get into the game really quick," Berube said.

The Islanders tightened up their defense over the final 40 minutes, during which the Wild mustered just 23 shots. New York also found its rhythm on offense in the second, when it took the lead on goals by centers Mikhail Grabovski and Anders Lee scored 107 seconds apart early in the period.

Wild right winger Jason Pominville tied the game with 1:24 left in the second, but that goal had not even been announced yet when Islanders center Brock Nelson put New York back ahead for good by firing a shot off the top post and past screened Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk with 41.5 seconds remaining.

"You never want to give up one to start a period or finish a period," Wild left winger Zach Parise said. "And that one hurt."

Islanders centers Frans Nielsen and John Tavares scored just 2:03 apart in the first five minutes of the third to chase Dubnyk (25 saves).

"We went into the locker room with a little bit of momentum and carried it into the third," Lee said.

Wild right winger Nino Niederreiter put back a shot by defenseman Matt Dumba with 9:56 left, but Minnesota could get no closer despite outshooting the Islanders 7-4 the rest of the way and pulling backup goalie Darcy Kuemper (eight saves) with a little less than four minutes remaining.

After the final horn sounded, Halak joined Berube for the skate to center ice, where the Islanders mobbed Berube.

"It was awesome," said Berube, who received a puck used in the game and said he planned to give it to his parents. "I was a little tired there, but it's good to get that kind of support and see the guys were happy for me."

With the win, the Islanders (26-16-6) remained a point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils in the race for third place in the Metropolitan Division while moving within a point of the second-place New York Rangers.

The Wild (23-18-9) has lost three straight and 11 of 14 since Jan. 1. Minnesota remained one point behind the Nashville Predators in the race for the final Western Conference wild card spot.

"We're losing the games right now," Wild head coach Mike Yeo said. "It's not like we're playing real well and just getting unlucky."

NOTES: The NHL announced Tuesday that the Islanders' home game against the Philadelphia Flyers game that was postponed due to the blizzard on Jan. 23 will be made up April 10. ... The Islanders scratched RW Steve Bernier, G Thomas Greiss and D Brian Strait. D Johnny Boychuk (upper body) missed his 10th straight game but skated Tuesday morning and is expected to rejoin the Islanders this week. ... Islanders D Scott Mayfield joined G Jean-Francois Berube in being recalled from Bridgeport of the AHL on Monday. ...The Wild scratched G Niklas Backstrom, D Christian Folin and RW Justin Fontaine. Folin was recalled from Iowa of the AHL on Monday. ... C Ryan Carter returned to the lineup for the Wild after missing seven games with a hand injury.
Top Game Performances
Minnesota   NY Islanders
Nino Niederreiter 2 Points Mikhail Grabovski 2
Nino Niederreiter 1 Goals Mikhail Grabovski 1
Matt Dumba 2 Assists Mikhail Grabovski 1
Nino Niederreiter 1 Power Play Goals Frans Nielsen 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Darcy Kuemper 1.000 Save Percentage J.F. Berube .930
Devan Dubnyk 25 Saves J.F. Berube 40
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Minnesota 43 3 1-4 0-1 2 38
NY Islanders 38 5 1-1 3-4 8 33
Upcoming Games
  • NY Islanders will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Islanders have a W/L % of .480 after a win and .609 after a loss.
  • Minnesota will play their next game on the road against NY Rangers. The Wild have a W/L % of .500 after a win and .423 after a loss.