Friday, December 16, 2011

Okposo Shines But Isles Falter

Kyle Okposo had a good game and earned himself a star on Thursday (12/15) night, but his team was unable to beat the Stars that hail from Dallas. Kyle had an assist on Michael Grabner's game tying goal and scored the goal that gave his team the lead, but it didn't hold up as his New York Islanders lost 3-2.

Kevin Poulin, making his first NHL start in goal this season, played well enough to win, saving 26 Dallas shots, but was the victim of a weak defense and an insufficient offense.

Head Coach Jack Capuano, visibly upset after the game, noted that the Islanders should have and could have won the game. "A few mistakes in the third cost us the game," he explained, as the Isles allowed third period goals to Brendan Morrow and Jamie Benn and lost for the first time in regulation this season when leading after two periods.

Back to Okposo for a moment, though. He has scored five goals in his last 11 games and has 6 points in December (7 games). He fed Grabner nicely with a pass that clunked in off of the Austrian's skate at 16:38 of the first frame. The play was reviewed but was ruled a valid goal.

Kyle's goal, the "dirty" type which he tapped in after a scramble in front of Dallas netminder Richard Bachman, is the type of goal that Kyle (and the team in general) needs to score more often.

Okposo's statistical line for the seasons now reads 5 goals and 7 assists for 12 points. The Islanders, somewhat less impressively, sit at 9-14-6, last in the Eastern Conference.

News and Notes:

- Brian Rolston suffered a concussion during the course of the game, this coming on the heels of the news that defenseman Steve Staios had done the same during the last game. Capuano hadn't received an update on Rolston's condition after the game.

- Mike Mottau played 18:29 in what was his 300th career NHL game.

- On the flip side, Calvin DeHaan made his NHL debut, playing 13:01, recording two hits and a +1.

- Late in the game, Michael Grabner appeared to leave the ice clutching his face. There was no word on an injury.

- The Islanders were 0-3 on the power play.

- The franchise once again falls to .500, now
1322-1322-347-80 all-time.

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