NHL: N.Y. Islanders 2, Minnesota 1 (SO)

Dec. 18, 2011 at 12:38 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Frans Nielsen scored the only goal in a shootout Saturday and the New York Islanders edged injury-plagued Minnesota 2-1.

Nielsen beat Niklas Backstrom after the Minnesota goalie had stopped John Tavares in the first round of the tiebreaker.

Islanders goalie Al Montoya, meanwhile, made saves on Matt Cullen, Marek Zidlicky and Dany Heatley in the shootout, securing a victory that broke a four-game skid for the Islanders.

Montoya stopped 20-of-21 shots, and Andrew MacDonald got New York's only regulation goal on assists from Tavares and Matt Moulson midway through the second period.

Cal Clutterbuck forged a third-period tie with a goal and Backstrom finished with 35 saves for the short-handed Wild, who dropped a season-worst third straight game.

Minnesota, which retained the NHL's best record at 20-8-5, was playing without injured forwards Mikko Koivu, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Guillaume Latendresse.

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