Christian Arnold, Islanders Point Blank:The Islanders really seem to have a flair for the dramatic lately.
After coming from behind on Friday night to defeat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1, the Islanders did it once again on Sunday to beat the Dallas Stars 4-2. It was the Isles fourth straight win, their longest winning streak this season, and the team’s seventh consecutive win on the road.
After giving up two goals in the first, Kyle Okposo scored in the second period and again in the third to tie the game. Then with 1:24 left in the contest John Tavares gave the Islanders their first lead of the night. Calvin de Haan was up in the play and sent a no look pass in front of the net to Tavares, who buried the puck past Dan Ellis.
“I wanted to shoot the puck, but I kind of mishandled it a little bit, ” de Haan said while describing the play. “I knew we had support back door, it just happened to be Johnny. It got through and it went in, so it was a big goal.”
The second and third periods were a stark difference from the first for the Isles. The Stars were the stronger team in the first, outshooting the visitors 16-9 and scoring their only two goals of the game in that period. Ray Whitney scored 11:45 into the first and Sergei Gonchar scored off a defensive zone turnover by Brock Nelson.
The Islanders pushed back in the second period, generating more scoring chances and eventually finding the back of the net. Okposo scored his first goal of the game at 10:47 on an odd-man rush for New York.
The momentum continued into the third where Okposo tied the game late in the period, going top shelf on his shot from the top of the face-off circle. Nearly three minutes later Tavares scored the game winner and Brock Nelson sealed the win with an empty net goal with 52 seconds left in the game.
“They’re a resilient bunch of guys right now and they’re working hard playing with some confidence,” Islander coach Jack Capuano said after the win.
Since the calendar turned to 2014 the Islanders have looked like the team everyone saw during last season. Despite falling behind time after time, the Islanders have battled back and have found ways to win. Tavares has continued to do what he is expected to do and Thomas Vanek has really seemed to compliment Tavares and Okposo on the top line.
And Calvin de Haan had one of his best games as an Islander Sunday in Dallas. The rookie defenseman saw 22:52 of playing time, was a plus-2 and finished the game with two points. de Haan had a hand in both the game-tying and winning goal. Not to mention several smart defensive plays during the course of the game.
The only negative to come from Sunday was the absence of Travis Hamonic, who missed the third period. Hamonic was ill and got too dehydrated to complete the rest of the game, according to Newsday’s Arthur Staple.
The Islanders will look to make it five wins in a row on Tuesday when they take on the Florida Panthers.