By: David Kolb
MINNESOTA WILD (3-1-1) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (2-3-0)
MAKING THE PITCH
19-year-old rookie Anthony Beauvillier can play nine games before the Islanders will be forced to opt to either keep No. 72 on their NHL roster, or return him to juniors. Beauvillier is making a strong pitch to stay, scoring a goal with two assists in his first four NHL games, including an assist against the Coyotes Friday.
PROTECTING HOME ICE
The Isles are 2-1-0 in the first three games of an 11-game stretch in which the Isles will play 10 of 11 games at Barclays Center. Tonight, the Islanders get the Minnesota Wild, who will be weary after participating in a 2-1 overtime loss in Newark versus the Devils Saturday.
GETTING ON THE BOARD FIRST
Through five games this season, the Isles are 2-0-0 when they score first and are 0-3-0 when their opponent does. However, getting behind early hasn’t deterred Minnesota as they have won three of four contests in which their opponent has tallied first.
The Isles swept the season series from Minnesota last season, defeating the Wild twice, winning 5-3 in Brooklyn and 5-2 in Minnesota. Overall, the Islanders are 6-2-1 in their last nine tilts against the Wild.
RETURN OF EL NINO
After failing to record a point in the first two games, former Islander Nino Niederreiter has tallied assists in two of the past three games. Niederreiter has potted at least 20-goals in each of the past two seasons and is looking to score his first of the season tonight against his former club.