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New York Islanders vs. Minnesota Wild [Game #37]

The Islanders face another “good team” test vs. a team from the West.

NHL: New York Islanders at Minnesota Wild David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Last time the New York Islanders and Minnesota Wild met, the Isles were coming off two wins in Canada and anticipating Zach Parise’s return to a longtime home.

Instead of winning that one to cap a successful trip, the Isles lost convincingly, 5-2. That began a performance- and COVID-fueled descent that put them in their current position, trying to climb back up the standings and erase their mid-winter swoon.

Today the Isles have most of their lineup back (Ryan Pulock excepted) and have generally righted the ship, but they still have massive ground to make up and they’ve yet to show they can handle strong opponents like the Wild.

Tonight is one of three Isles games remaining before the All Star Weekend. The Wild are making their metro swing after beating the Rangers at the Garden on Friday.

Leave your First Islanders Goal picks here. Action begins at 7:30 p.m. EST. Follow Wild updates at Hockey Wilderness.