Toews, Greiss lead surg­ing Isles

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - SCOREBOARD -

NEW YORK — Thomas Greiss made some big saves, rookie Devon Toews got a power-play goal right af­ter Min­nesota tied the score, and An­ders Lee dived to block a shot with his head late in the game. The New York Is­lan­ders used a strong team ef­fort to get another win.

Toews scored the tiebreak­ing goal early in the sec­ond pe­riod, Greiss stopped 26 shots and the Is­lan­ders beat the Wild 2-1 on Sun­day.

“That’s a sign of our team, how we bat­tle, how hard we work,” Greiss said. “Ev­ery­body is just do­ing their job and do­ing ev­ery­thing they can.”

An­thony Beauvil­lier also scored for Metropoli­tan Di­vi­sion-lead­ing New York, which won for the fourth time in five games and ninth in 12 (9-1-2) to in­crease its lead to five points over sec­ond-place Washington. The Is­lan­ders, who beat Colorado 4-3 in over­time Satur­day, im­proved to 15-2-1 in backto-back games, in­clud­ing 9-0-0 on the back end.

“You have to have a win­ning com­mit­ment,” New York coach Barry Trotz said. “The whole group has been all-in all year, and we’ve been able to put a few wins to­gether.”

Mikael Gran­lund scored for the Wild, who lost for the fifth time in six games (1-3-2). De­van Dub­nyk, start­ing for the sec­ond straight game af­ter fac­ing just 18 shots in a 4-2 win at New Jer­sey on Satur­day, had 32 saves.

Min­nesota pressed for the ty­ing goal in the third, out­shoot­ing New York 12-9 in the pe­riod af­ter to­tal­ing just 15 shots over the first 40 min­utes. Greiss had four saves in close on one Wild power play in the mid­dle of the pe­riod, stop­ping a tip by Eric Staal, a shot by Ja­son Zucker and two more tries by Staal.

IS­LAN­DERS 2 WILD 1

With just over a minute left, Lee used his hel­met to block a shot by Ryan Suter as the Wild were scram­bling to help pre­serve the win.

“Huge com­mit­ment at the end,” Trotz said. “Guys are block­ing shots with their legs, their an­kles, their head. You name it, they’re get­ting in the way.”

Greiss im­proved to 4-0-1 in his last five games, giv­ing up just three goals on 157 shots in the stretch. His lone loss was 1-0 in a shootout against Tampa Bay at the Nas­sau Coli­seum on Feb. 1.

“Just work­ing on my game all sea­son long,” Greiss said. “Guys in front of me are play­ing well, ev­ery­body is do­ing their job and it shows out there.”

The Is­lan­ders fin­ished 1 for 6 on the power play, and the Wild were 1 for 3.

“We never want to end up killing that many penal­ties,” Dub­nyk said. “It’s tough to keep them out and that’s a lot of time you’re not able to be at the other end try­ing to score.”

Gran­lund tied the score 1-1 with a power-play goal 38 sec­onds into the sec­ond pe­riod. A re­bound of Staal’s shot came out to Zucker on the right side and as Greiss came out to cut off his an­gle, Zucker sent the puck across to the left where Gran­lund put it into the open net for his 13th.

How­ever, An­thony Bitetto was whis­tled for hold­ing a minute later to put the Is­lan­ders on the power play, and Toews re­gained their lead at 2:01 with a one-timer from the left slot off a pass from Ryan Pu­lock.

“We get the mo­men­tum and all of a sud­den it’s turned right around,” Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said. “When you take six (penal­ties) that puts a lot of strain on cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als that are play­ing. It makes it dif­fi­cult.”

Beauvil­lier gave New York a 1-0 lead with just un­der six min­utes left in the open­ing pe­riod with his 13th of the sea­son and first in 12 games.

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