Tag: Kyle Okposo

John Tavares

Isles’ Tavares: ‘We needed two points, especially at home’


The New York Islanders moved into the second seed in the Metropolitan Division with a 5-4 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

The Islanders win coupled with the Ottawa Senators loss means New York’s magic number to clinch a playoff spot is six points.

After falling behind 2-0, New York scored three straight to take a 3-2 lead. The Islanders chased Red Wings’ started Petr Mrazek 16 seconds into the second period when Frans Nielsen gave New York a 4-3 lead.

Mrazek allowed four goals on 11 shots and was replaced by Jimmy Howard.

“It wasn’t the way we wanted to start, but I think credit to our team and everyone digging deep and sticking together,” said captain John Tavares, who had three assists in the win. “We responded right away.”

Brock Nelson, Kyle Okposo and Ryan Strome had first period goals. Cal Clutterbuck had the game winner.

New York’s power play went 3-for-4 in the win.

“Our power play is pretty underrated,” said Okposo. ”Everyone is yelling shoot all the time but we have pretty good structure.”

Added Tavares: “Our power play… it was good to see we got rewarded. We’ve been doing some decent things, I think. Obviously when you don’t score, sometimes the pressure can mount.”

Tomas Tatar and Drew Miller scored on Detroit’s first two shots giving the Wings a 2-0 lead before the two-minute mark of the first period. Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk had to other Wings’ goals.

With the loss the Wings remain seven points behind the Tampa Bay Lightning for second place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit has a three-point lead on the Boston Bruins.

Howard made 15 saves in relief and was saddled with the loss.

Jaroslav Halak improved to 36-16-2 with a 25 save performance.

The win snapped the Islanders’ three-game losing streak. It was the Islanders first home win since Feb. 27 snapping a streak of seven straight losses.

“We really needed two points, especially at home,” said Tavares. “Just a character win. I don’t think it’s the way we drew it up, but we did some really good things again. The second half of the game we didn’t give up much. We need to build on it now.”

Wings’ Mrazek hooked after allowing 4 goals on 11 shots

Petr Mrazek

After falling behind 2-0 before the two minute mark of the first period, the New York Islanders scored three straight to take a 3-2 lead.

The Islanders added a fourth goal 16 seconds into the second period to end Wings’ starter Petr Mrazek’s night early.

Mrazek allowed four goals on 11 shots and has been replaced by Jimmy Howard.

Brock Nelson, Ryan Strome and Kyle Okposo scored first period goals.

Frans Nielsen added his 14th of the season early in the second.

Islanders captain John Tavares has three assists moving him one point back of Sidney Crosby for the league-lead.

Dubnyk leads Wild past Isles in SO, earns 10th straight road win


Devan Dubnyk might not get the Vezina Trophy given that he had to spend a good portion of the season with the Arizona Coyotes, but there’s a strong argument to be made that he’s been the most valuable player in the league since mid-January when he was acquired by the Minnesota Wild. He added to his impressive run in Minnesota by leading the Wild to a 2-1 shootout victory over the New York Islanders tonight.

The 28-year-old goaltender turned aside 37 of 38 shots in regulation before beating Frans Nielsen, Kyle Okposo, and John Tavares in the skills competition. Wild forward Zach Parise scored the game-deciding goal.

Dubnyk has now earned 10 straight road victories, becoming just the third active goaltender to accomplish that feat, per the NHL. This is also the longest road winning streak in Minnesota’s history.

“[Dubnyk] just deserves this story right now,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said, per the team’s Twitter feed. “He deserves to be talked about.”

“He was the big reason why we were able to get out of that first period not down 5-0,” Parise told the Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff.

The Wild goaltender now has a 33-11-3 record, 2.07 GAA, and .930 save percentage in 51 games this season, including his time with Arizona.

With offense slumping, Isles on verge of season-long losing streak

Jack Capuano, Doug Weight

In what’s been an otherwise banner campaign, the New York Islanders have hit a rough patch.

Relatively speaking, that is.

On their way to the playoffs and one of just six teams in the NHL with 43 wins or more, the Islanders are in great shape overall and their “problems” — a three-game losing streak during which they’ve scored just three times — aren’t massive.

But they are a concern.

”I would hope, so a little bit,” coach Jack Capuano said when asked if his team was frustrated following Saturday’s 3-1 loss to Montreal, per the AP. ”You want a little fire in your belly. I sound like a broken record.

“For whatever reason, we are a little snake-bitten, and things aren’t finding its way like it used to.”

It’s not surprising to hear there’s a bit of frustration creeping in. The Isles haven’t lost more than three games in a row all season long, but will stare that number in the face tomorrow at the United Center, when they take on the suddenly-stingy Blackhawks, who have allowed just seven goals over their last five games.

New York is also just 4-5-2 over its last 11 while averaging 2.33 goals per game, down from its season average of 3.0 (third in the NHL), which has allowed the Rangers to jump ahead into first place in the Metropolitan Division. The Isles also sit just two points up on Pittsburgh for second — the Pens have two games in hand — and six up on the Capitals, who have one game in hand.

On Saturday, Capuano tried to shake things up offensively by making 21-year-old Ryan Strome — the club’s third-leading scorer — a healthy scratch for the first time this season. Strome, who was averaging 15:03 per night and one of just four Islanders to play the first 70 games of the season, had been slumping prior to the scratch, with no goals and just two points in six contests.

Strome isn’t the only young Islander that’s hit a wall offensively. Brock Nelson, who had 30 points in the first 46 games of the year, has just three goals and six assists in 24 games post All-Star break.

All that said, the Isles have some positives on the horizon, a big one being the schedule — they only play three times over the next eight days, which will afford the club some rest and a chance to get some practices in for Kyle Okposo, who is still working his way back into form after missing 22 games to a detached retina.

Habs ride brilliant Price performance to win vs. Isles

P.K. Subban, Carey Price

If you look at Saturday’s Montreal Canadiens – New York Islanders game as a showcase between two potential Hart Trophy candidates (rather than two East contenders), then Carey Price got the best of John Tavares tonight.

Price was brilliant once again for Montreal, stopping 35 out of 36 shots as the Habs beat the Islanders 3-1. Tavares created some great chances – as usual – yet Price was game for all of his six shots on net.

Price’s stop on Matt Martin was probably the sexiest highlight of them all, though:

In reality, this wasn’t just about two stars, especially since there were plenty of other standout talents on the ice like P.K. Subban. It was a great night for Max Pacioretty (a goal on a gaffe by Michal Neuvirth) and a not-so-great evening for Kyle Okposo and Johnny Boychuk, who both suffered with -3 ratings.

The out-of-town scoreboard was also friendly to the Canadiens and unfriendly to the Islanders. While the Tampa Bay Lightning muffed their chance to keep pace with Montreal, the New York Rangers took care of business against the Buffalo Sabres. That leaves the Habs strongly in first place in the Atlantic Division while the Isles face an uphill battle to catch the Rangers in the Metro.

Both teams seem like they’re on the upswing overall, but it was Montreal that took a step forward tonight.