Series (Game 1 of 2)

New York leads 2-0

Game 1: Monday, October 10th
Game 2: Saturday, December 17th

Wild 1

(1-1-0, 2 pts)

Islanders 2

(1-1-0, 2 pts)

1:00 PM ET, October 10, 2011

Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York

1 2 3 T
MIN 0 0 11
NYI 2 0 02

A. Montoya (Islanders - G): Saves: 20, Save Pct.: .952

A. MacDonald (Islanders - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

P. Parenteau (Islanders - RW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Wild-Islanders Preview


It didn't take long for the Minnesota Wild's big-name, offseason acquisitions to leave their mark on their new team.

Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi look to build on their excellent Wild debuts when visiting Minnesota faces the New York Islanders on Monday afternoon.

Heatley and Setoguchi, acquired in separate trades from San Jose over the summer, came up huge during Saturday's season-opening 4-2 victory over Columbus. After Matt Cullen set a team record by scoring 1:10 into the season, Heatley and Setoguchi combined for two goals and an assist -- each scoring once -- to help Mike Yeo win his coaching debut.

With Yeo at the helm, the Wild, who finished 26th in the league with 203 goals in 2010-11, are hoping to play at a much faster pace this season.

"Everyone's talking about our system. We've done a good job of trying to play that way, quickly," Heatley said. "I think it makes our team looks faster. The 'D' are moving the puck well. Guys are in position."

There is surely going to be an adjustment period for Minnesota (1-0-0) as it implements its up-tempo pace, but Setoguchi knows the team's headed in the right direction.

"It was a little sloppy at times, but we're going to get better and better," Setoguchi said. "That's just a given. But it's a good start. It's a good building block for us."

While there's plenty of optimism surrounding the Wild following their impressive showing against the Blue Jackets, Islanders coach Jack Capuano was anything but pleased with his team's play during Saturday's 2-0 loss to Florida.

Last season's leading scorer John Tavares, who signed a six-year, $33 million extension in the offseason, managed just two shots and New York went 0 for 3 on the power play.

"Our best players need to be our best players," Capuano told the Islanders' official website.

"We didn't create the offense (Saturday) and we didn't get to the paint and that's the result of turnovers and not paying the price to get there. That's the one thing we'll address and we'll do a better job of that."

Cleaning up their act likely won't be easy versus Niklas Backstrom, who could be in goal for Minnesota. Backstrom stopped 29 shots versus Columbus and has also experienced plenty of success in this series.

Backstrom had gone 4-0-0 with a 1.98 GAA in four career meetings with New York (0-1-0) before allowing three goals during a 4-1 road loss March 2. Al Montoya made 33 saves for the Islanders during that game, helping them snap an 0-4-1 stretch against the Wild.

It is unknown whether Montoya, who stopped 27 shots versus the Panthers, will make a second consecutive start or give way to either Rick DiPietro or Evgeni Nabokov.

No matter who is in goal, defenseman Mark Streit is confident that New York will regroup from Saturday's loss.

"We wanted to start with a win," said the Islanders captain. "We had a great crowd, a good atmosphere and a good feeling, but we lost the game. We know we can play better and we have to turn the page here and play Monday and get our first win."

The Islanders won't have to worry about facing right wing Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who begins a two-game suspension due to a stick infraction Saturday.

Heatley, though, will be looking to add to his impressive numbers versus New York. He's recorded 25 points in 24 games against the Islanders -- including nine goals and five assists over 12 career visits to Nassau Coliseum.