NHL Game Summary - NY Islanders at Atlanta
(Thursday, January 29th)
Final Score: NY Islanders 5, Atlanta 4
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Kyle Okposo notched his first two-goal game in the NHL, and the New York Islanders won a road game for the first time in over two months with a 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Islanders had been mired in a 14-game road losing streak, as the team's last road victory took place on November 24, in Montreal. Trent Hunter, Doug Weight and Tim Jackman also scored for the Isles, who have won two in a row after an eight-game losing streak.
"It's good to contribute that way," Okposo said. "(It was) just some good plays by the lineman. Josh (Bailey, who had two assists,) played very well tonight and was able to find me a couple times."
Yann Danis made 33 saves in the win for New York.
"I thought Yann Danis did a good job during the first two periods," Islanders coach Scott Gordon said. "We didn't give up a lot of chances. I thought he did a real good job of controlling rebounds. (In the) third period, he gave up some goals. I have to look at the video to get better assessment."
Rich Peverley had a goal and two assists for the Thrashers, who have lost three in a row. Zach Bogosian, Marty Reasoner and Ilya Kovalchuk also tallied, and Kari Lehotonen allowed four goals on 15 shots in the first period before being pulled. Johan Hedberg stopped 17-of-18 shots in relief but took the loss, as Atlanta couldn't complete the comeback.
"Just because we had a good third period, it doesn't mean anything," Peverley said. "We did not get a point out of it. You shouldn't shoot yourself in the foot going down 4-0. I think it was a lack of effort by the entire team. You can't put yourself in that position against any team in the league."
Hunter got the Islanders on the board just 55 seconds into the game, beating an out-of-position Lehtonen from the right circle for his 12th tally of the year.
Okposo gave the Isles a 2-0 lead after a nice pass across the crease from Blake Comeau left a wide-open net at 7:29 of the opening frame. A few minutes later, Lehtonen misplayed a rebound and the puck just sat in the crease until Jackman easily put it to make it 3-0.
New York took a 4-0 lead with 6:43 left in the first, as Weight outworked the Atlanta defense for a loose rebound and beat Lehtonen, who was pulled as a result.
Hedburg, his replacement, stopped 15-of-15 shots in the remainder of the first and second periods combined, but Atlanta's offense was shut out as well, and the 4-0 score carried over to the third.
Bogosian put the Thrashers on the board 26 seconds into the third, and Peverley scored a power play goal at the 6:20 mark on a nice backhand move that beat Danis to make it 4-2.
Reasoner's wrap-around goal through Danis' legs made it 4-3 with 11:24 left, but Okposo's goal at the front of the crease put the Isles back up by two with 7:21 to go.
Kovalchuk tipped in a shot out in front to pull the Thrashers to within 5-4 with 58 seconds left, but the team fell short, as pulling Hedberg for the extra attacker proved to be fruitless.
The Islanders' longest franchise road losing streak is 15, set from January 20-April 1, 1973...The Thrashers still won the season series, 3-1...The Isles improved to 6-17-2 on the road overall, while Atlanta fell to 9-14-2 at home...New York tallied its first four-goal period and its first five-goal game since October 11 against St. Louis...The Islanders have allowed 69 third- period goals this season, the most in the NHL.
01/29 22:32:08 ET