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Tavares lifts Isles over Oilers
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - John Tavares scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period while adding an assist in the New York Islanders' 3-2 victory over the struggling Edmonton Oilers from Nassau Coliseum.
Kyle Okposo recorded a goal and an assist as well to help put the Islanders back in the win column following an 0-2-1 stretch. Josh Bailey also scored for New York and Evgeni Nabokov stopped 27-of-29 shots in the triumph.
Taylor Hall accounted for both Oilers' goals, which came a mere eight seconds apart late in the first period. Edmonton failed to generate much offensively the rest of the way, however, en route to a fifth straight defeat that dropped the young club to 1-6-1 under first-year head coach Dallas Eakins.
Devan Dubnyk finished with 37 saves for the Oilers in a losing cause.
"This is where Duby takes over and starts playing like we know he can," said Hall. "It would have been nice to get a win for him."
Hall's scoring binge staked Edmonton to a 2-1 edge after one period, but the Oilers' 30th-ranked penalty-killing unit couldn't hold the lead after Luke Gadzic was called for tripping with just under four minutes elapsed in the second.
Okposo blasted home a Matt Moulson pass a little over a minute into the power play for the equalizer, and the Islanders killed off three minor penalties following the goal to keep the contest knotted at 2-2.
"Your goalie has to be your best player on the penalty kill," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "They seamed us quite a few times on that PK in the second period and had a couple one-timers. [Nabokov] made some big saves for us and really that was the turning point."
Tavares sent the Islanders in front 1:07 prior to the second intermission. The New York captain skated into center ice to take in a feed from Okposo, then whipped a rising shot over Dubnyk's right shoulder for a 3-2 Islanders' advantage.
New York was able to stay ahead by controlling the action for the majority of the third period, holding the Oilers to only one shot over the first 13 minutes.
"It was good to see us come away with a pretty complete game in terms of the way we have to play and how hard we have to play," said Tavares. "Obviously, we had a couple letdowns with their goals, but we responded well."
Though Edmonton managed to produce more scoring chances in the game's latter stages, a hooking call on Justin Schultz with 1:49 left all but sealed its fate.
The Oilers were outplayed for much of the opening period as well, but still stood on top at the conclusion of the session behind 15 saves from Dubnyk and a sensational shift out of Hall.
With Edmonton down 1-0, Schultz delivered a cross-ice give to Hall that the former No. 1 overall pick buried into an open side with 4:08 to go in the period. After the Oilers moved the puck into the New York zone on the ensuing faceoff, Hall raced in from the left wing to knock in a rebound of Mark Arcobello's initial attempt.
The two goals were the fastest by one player in Oilers' history, breaking Wayne Gretzky's record of nine seconds set against St. Louis on Feb. 18, 1981.
Bailey gave the Islanders the early upper hand by one-timing a Travis Hamonic pass from the right slot midway through the first period.
The Islanders extended their run of non-playoff home games with at least one point to 10 dating back to last season, having gone 7-0-3 over that stretch ... Edmonton fell to 0-6-1 in its last seven road meetings with New York and hasn't won at Nassau Coliseum since Dec. 14, 1989 ... Tavares increased his point-scoring streak to six games, during which he's notched four goals and five assists ... Arcobello assisted on both Hall goals ... Six of the Islanders' seven games this season have been one-goal affairs.
10/18 00:47:50 ET