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NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Minnesota
(Sunday, December 29th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Minnesota 4
St. Paul, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Okposo scored the go-ahead goal with 5:48 left in the third period to boost the New York Islanders to a 5-4 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Okposo had two goals and an assist, while Thomas Hickey added a goal and a pair of helpers for the Islanders, who received 33 saves from Kevin Poulin.
Nino Niederreiter scored once and added an assist for the Wild. Josh Harding made 26 saves for Minnesota, which lost its fifth in a row.
The Isles scored three times in the final period and rallied from a 3-0 deficit in the second period.
"I think we got going as the game went on," Islanders forward Cal Clutterbuck said. "We started getting some momentum when we started jelling."
Okposo actually scored less than two minutes apart in the third. His first goal came on a slapshot from above the right circle at 12:13 to give the visitors a 4-3 edge.
Justin Fontaine then put home a rebound in front at 13:45, but Okposo was on the doorstep for the go-ahead tally only 27 seconds later after Harding turned aside Thomas Vanek's attempt.
Calvin de Haan was sent off for hooking at 15:02, giving the Wild a golden opportunity to tie the game. Minnesota peppered the New York net, but Poulin, who made 13 saves in the final period, was equal to the task.
Minnesota's Kyle Brodziak took a hooking penalty with 2:31 left to kill any possible momentum for the Wild.
Ryan Suter scored 3:22 into the first period, and the Wild got goals from Jonas Brodin and Niederreiter only 2:20 apart early in the second for the 3-0 cushion.
John Tavares, whose consecutive games played streak ended at 246 games Saturday due to a lower body injury, was credited with New York's first goal 8:45 into the second. The puck deflected off the skate of Wild center Mikko Koivu.
Clutterbuck scored with 62 seconds left in the second and Hickey tied the contest 6:30 into the third off a centering pass from Andrew MacDonald.
"The only way you can win in this league is to play a good 60-minute game and find a way," Koivu said. "It's the only thing you can do."
Minnesota fell to 14-4-2 at home this season ... The Wild fell to 12-3-5 in games decided by one goal ... Koivu had two helpers, giving him 301 for his career. He becomes the first-ever Wild player to register 300 assists all-time ... The Isles have won the last four against the Wild ... It was a return to Minnesota for Clutterbuck, who was traded in the summer for Niederreiter.
12/30 00:36:19 ET