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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.

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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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