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Okposo, Tavares help Isles break 10-game skid

Dec 11, 2013, 1:36 AM EDT

Heading into the third period down 2-0 against the San Jose Sharks, it looked like the New York Islanders’ losing streak would extend to 11 games. John Tavares and Kyle Okposo – two players who’ve been consistent while others have fallen apart – wouldn’t let that happen on Tuesday.

Instead, they powered a comeback that ultimately resulted in a 3-2 shootout win thanks to a clincher by (wait for it): Okposo.

Both homegrown Islander talents had two points apiece tonight (Okposo with a goal and an assist, Tavares with two helpers) while Thomas Vanek found the net for the second straight game.*

While that trio of scorers have often been the lone bright spot for the Isles, their goaltending has been abysmal lately, but Kevin Poulin put up stellar numbers tonight. He stopped 46 out of 48 shots, including a flawless first period as San Jose dominated play with an 18-3 shot advantage.

The Islanders can feel that mixture of elation and relief while the Sharks must feel extreme frustration.┬áThe Sharks are on a four-game losing streak despite carrying much of the play (They’ve been outscored 15-7 [not counting the Isles’ shootout score] in this four-game skid despite winning the shots battle 156-106).

Maybe San Jose should use a mantra that was likely uttered in the Islanders’ locker room a lot lately: something has to give.

* – For all that’s been said about the Vanek trade failing, he’s been productive with 11 points in 15 games since being traded. If anything, the problems with that swap revolve around context (from the picks given up, to the possibility that Vanek might leave in free agency and the notion that the team strengthened a strength instead of improving on a weak area) instead of Vanek’s scoring.

  1. btlpper68 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:37 AM

    Poulin stole the game

  2. mattymarts17 - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    The intensity they played with in the third period reminded me of last season. Poulin absolutely stood on his head tonight! Gotta string a few together now!!

  3. 950003cups - Dec 11, 2013 at 1:57 AM

    That was an epic display of goaltending. After the 2nd, I traded for Poulin on my fantasy team.

    • ethanmacleod1685 - Dec 11, 2013 at 2:26 AM

      You shouldn’t have done that lol

      • 950003cups - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Uh, yeah, I’m realizing that now after hearing all the “game of his life” talk. Maybe I jumped the gun. Or maybe I’m on to something. Or maybe it’s a good reason to make a new rule “leave my fantasy team alone when I’m drunk”

  4. rushledger - Dec 11, 2013 at 4:18 AM

    Sharks do have games like this, they bombarded the other team with shots and lose, doesn’t happen often when your pushing 50 shots, but it’s their thing shot relentlessly. Isles have talent, just lack depth in a lot of areas and it shows.

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