12/29/13: NYI 5 at MIN 4
St. Paul, MN, native Kyle Okposo capped off a three-goal comeback, as the Islanders overcame a 3-0 deficit and beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center. Okposo (two goals, one assist) and Thomas Hickey (one goal, two assists) led the way for the Islanders, while Cal Clutterbuck also scored in his return to Minnesota.
The Islanders close out 2013 on New Year’s Eve with their second matchup of the season against the Boston Bruins. The Isles have won the last two games against the Bruins and look for their first win streak of at least three games against the B’s since winning six straight from 2005-2007.
Making His Case: Islander Assistant Captain Kyle Okposo is now tied for second in scoring among all American-born players (Kane – 53pts, Okposo/Kessel – 37 pts). The United States Olympic Team will be announced on Wednesday at the Winter Classic.
3-Goal Comeback: The Islanders trailed 3-0 in Minnesota, but rallied to post a 5-4 victory over the Wild. That ended the Islanders’ NHL-record 380-game winless streak in games in which they trailed by three goals or more. The Isles rallied to win after trailing by at least three goals for the first time in 1,459 regular season games; on March 22, 1994 the Isles fell behind Tampa 4-0 at the Coliseum, but rallied to win 5-4 in overtime on a Vladimir Malakhov goal.
Road Win Streak: The Islanders are on a three-game road winning streak. They’ve also won four of their last five road games, with victories over San Jose, The Rangers, Detroit and Minnesota.
Point Streaks: Kyle Okposo is on a six-game point streak (4g/3a) . Thomas Vanek is on a four game point streak (3g/4a).
Hickey’s Big Night: Thomas Hickey recorded three points with a plus-4 rating Sunday in Minnesota. The Iast Islanders defender to score a goal and go at least plus-4 was Bryan Berard on 12/10/96. Hickey is the first Islander to go plus-4 since Frans Nielsen did so on March 27, 2012 vs Pittsburgh and the first Islander defender to do so since Travis Hamonic did against the Rangers on March 31, 2011.
Battered Bruins: The Bruins were without three of their top-six defensemen Saturday night, as Zdeno Chara, Dennis Seidenberg and Dougie Hamilton were all out with injuries.
Vanek Attack: Thomas Vanek is riding a five-game point streak (3g/4a).
The Islanders and Bruins game is set to air on the MSG Plus network, with face-off scheduled for 7:00 p.m.