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With his grandfather calling the game, Vinni Lettieri scores in Minnesota Wild win against New York Islanders

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) — Minnesota Wild player Vinni Lettieri enjoyed a “special” moment against the New York Islanders on Tuesday when his grandfather, color commentator Lou Nanne, called his second-period goal in a 4-2 road win.

To make the night at UBS Arena even more memorable, this was Lettieri’s first goal in nearly two years and his first playing for his hometown NHL team.

Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Pat Maroon also scored for Minnesota, which improved to 5-5-2 on the season, while goaltender Marc-André Fleury made 27 saves.

“It was perfect timing,” Lettieri told reporters about having his grandfather in the booth for his goal. “Everything happens for a reason and I wouldn’t take that one back for anything, so that’s pretty special.”

After the goal, which tied the game 2-2, Lettieri said that he had heard the Wild players on the bench yelling his grandfather’s name. Hockey great Nanne played more than 600 games for the Minnesota North Stars between 1967 and 1978.

Prior to Tuesday, the 28-year-old Lettieri’s last goal was on January 26, 2022, when he was playing for the Anaheim Ducks, according to ESPN.

After spending most of last season with the Boston Bruins’ minor-league affiliate, he signed a two-year, two-way contract with the Wild in July.

“It is really weird that I’m at home, but it’s really special,” said Lettieri. “Like I said a hundred times, for my parents and now my grandpa to be calling this game is really cool. The transition’s pretty good.”

Maroon scored after just 19 seconds to give the Wild the lead on Tuesday, but goals from Noah Dobson and Oliver Wahlstrom saw the Islanders lead in the second period.

Lettieri made it 2-2 before Kaprizov and Eriksson Ek scored less than a minute apart in the third period to give Minnesota back-to-back wins. The Wild was on a run of four straight losses prior to last week’s 5-4 victory against the New York Rangers.

The Islanders have now lost three of their past four games and move to 5-3-3 on the season.

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