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Wild storms back to beat Islanders; Ballard hospitalized


The Minnesota Wild roared back from a three-goal deficit to beat the New York Islanders, 5-4 Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.

The fuel to Minnesota's fire was an a hard check by Islanders left wing Matt Martin that sent Wild defenseman Keith Ballard to the hospital, according to ESPN. SportsNet has video of the nasty hit.

"Ballard passed the puck at mid-ice midway through the second period and tried to turn away as Martin charged toward him with a straight-ahead angle and his forearm raised for contact. Ballard was pinned awkwardly against the glass partition separating the benches above the wall, and then Ballard's head bounced hard on the ice as he fell."

The hit left Ballard writhing in pain. He eventually was escorted to the locker room and then the hospital. Martin was not penalized for the hit.

New York held a 3-0 lead at the time of Ballard's injury midway through the second period. But a slashing penalty moments later against former Gopher star Kyle Okposo put the Wild on the power play, and they quickly answered with a goal deflected into the back of the net by Jason Pominville.

The Islanders scored again and took a 4-1 lead into the final period; and that's when the Wild took over.

Mikko Koivu, Erik Haula, Thomas Vanek and Nino Niederreiter scored third-period goals as Minnesota held on for the win.

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