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Fluke goal helps Wild earn 12th straight win

ST. PAUL -- Sometimes a little luck is needed to keep a winning streak alive. The Minnesota Wild found that out Thursday night. Minnesota extended its winning streak to 12 games with a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. The Wild's game-winning ...

Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart (7) scores a goal as forward Jason Pominville (29) celebrates in front of New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 29, 2016; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Chris Stewart (7) scores a goal as forward Jason Pominville (29) celebrates in front of New York Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) during the second period at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PAUL - Sometimes a little luck is needed to keep a winning streak alive.

The Minnesota Wild found that out Thursday night.

Minnesota extended its winning streak to 12 games with a 6-4 win over the New York Islanders. The Wild's game-winning goal midway through the third period bounced off both of Erik Haula's legs and into the net, helping Minnesota stay red-hot heading into Saturday's matchup with the Columbus Blue Jackets, who own a 14-game winning streak.

Wild forward Nino Niederreiter fired a shot that pinballed off Haula's left leg, then right leg, then past goalie Jean-Francois Berube and into the net to put Minnesota up 5-4 with 9:30 remaining.

Haula's sixth goal of the season was much-needed for the Wild, who allowed a pair of Islanders goals earlier in the period as Minnesota temporarily let its two-goal lead disappear.

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Mikael Granlund's empty-net goal with 1:41 to play sealed the Wild's 12th straight victory, which extends a franchise record for longest winning streak.

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, one of the best goaltenders in the NHL this season, endured one of his shakiest outings. Dubnyk allowed four goals on 28 shots, including two in a span of 42 seconds early in the third that resulted in a tie game. It was the first time he allowed more than three goals all season and the first time in 11 games he surrendered more than two goals.

Brock Nelson scored 55 seconds into the final period, then again at 1:37 to lift the Islanders into a 4-4 tie.

Minnesota struck first, taking a 1-0 lead on Scandella's second goal of the year at 12:34 in the first period. Just 1:29 later, the Islanders tied it on Chimera's goal that beat Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk over his left shoulder.

It was a Minnesota native who put New York up 2-1 early in the second. Defenseman Nick Leddy scored on the power play when his shot trickled just across the goal line before Dubnyk could turn to make the stop.

The Wild's fortunes turned in the span of 80 seconds in the second period.

Trailing 2-1, Minnesota's Chris Stewart scored from a nearly impossible angle to tie the game at 2-2. Stewart, whose skates were behind the net, banked a shot off Islanders goalie Jaroslav Halak and into the goal.

Just 35 seconds later, defenseman Jared Spurgeon put Minnesota up 3-2 when he made a move on a defender and beat Halak for his fourth goal of the season.

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The floodgates were open at that point for the Wild. Less than a minute after Spurgeon's go-ahead goal, Jordan Schroeder gave Minnesota a 4-2 lead with his second goal of the year.

The three goals were the fastest three goals in Wild franchise history. The previous record was 1:41.

Minnesota's fourth goal of the night chased Halak from the game, as Jean-Francois Berube came in to replace him. Halak faced 25 shots before he was benched.

Related Topics: MINNESOTA WILDHOCKEY
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