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Cheered by Isles' fans, Matt Moulson scores twice for Wild

Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Moulson celebrates his

Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Moulson celebrates his goal against the Islanders in the first period of an NHL hockey game at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday, March 18, 2014. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

A long memory is not the most common thing among sports fans, who generally favor a what-have-you-done-lately attitude. But when a Nassau Coliseum scoreboard "thank you" was offered to Matt Moulson seven minutes into Tuesday night's game against the Minnesota Wild, the crowd bestowed a sustained ovation.

Moulson, shown at that point on the Coliseum video screen as he sat on the Minnesota bench, offered a quick little wave. He then scored the game's first goal at 12:23 of the first period, bringing a lusty cheer. He brought a stronger salute when he wrapped up Minnesota's 6-0 victory with a second goal at 16:34 of the third.

Back on Coliseum ice for the first time since the October trade that sent him to Buffalo (before a deal moved him to Minnesota this month), "I was pretty nervous," Moulson said. "I don't think I slept a minute during the pregame nap today. This was an emotional one. Coming back here is tough for me to get my mind into it, but I think getting that first goal kind of calmed me down."

That goal came the way so many of his 118 were scored in four-plus seasons with the Isles. Moulson pounced on a rebound of Justin Fontaine's shot and flicked it past Anders Nilsson.

More than a few fans were wearing Moulson's replica Islanders' No. 26 jersey. "Obviously, I was here a long time," he said, "and this team had a good place in my heart when I was here. And the fans are great support. It was pretty emotional."

Strait breaks hand

Islanders defenseman Brian Strait suffered a broken left hand in the second period and, as he stood in pain, was almost struck in the head by a Fontaine shot moments later.

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