|Date of game: 10/16/2014
Recap: NY Islanders vs. San Jose
Uniondale, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - The New York Islanders have had their struggles against the San Jose Sharks at home, but took care of business in a shootout win that sent their Western Conference foe to a rare road loss on Long Island.
John Tavares scored the game-winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout to lift the Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Sharks on Thursday.
San Jose, which was playing its final game at Nassau Coliseum as the Islanders make the move to Barclays Center next season, had gone 7-1-0 with a tie in its last nine road games against New York.
Tavares added two assists in regulation, while Kyle Okposo, Nick Leddy and Josh Bailey each scored for the Islanders, who have opened the season with four straight wins for just the third time in franchise history and first since 2001-02.
"It was back-and-forth, good hockey," Tavares said. "We stayed with our game and got rewarded for it."
Jaroslav Halak stopped 20-of-23 shots in the win.
Brent Burns had a goal and an assist, Patrick Marleau scored and Tomas Hertl forced overtime with his third-period tally for the Sharks.
"It's a tough league, so we battled pretty hard, came back and got the point," Burns said.
Alex Stalock, who made a few big saves at the end of regulation and overtime to send the game to a shootout, stopped 42 pucks in defeat.
Logan Couture's shootout goal through the five-hole of Halak gave the visitors an early edge. New York was down to its last shooter when Okposo performed a smooth deke and wristed a shot over the left shoulder of Stalock.
Two rounds later, Tavares slowly skated in going forehand to backhand, waited for Stalock to go to his right and backhanded a shot into the net. Halak's save on Joe Thornton at the other end sealed the win.
"I wasn't very good in shootouts last year, so I just tried to change it up," Tavares added. "(Stalock) was playing aggressive all night coming out hard so I just wanted to slow him down and make him uncomfortable."
Okposo scored on the power play with just over 14 minutes remaining in the third to tie the game at 2-2.
New York then went in front on a scrappy goal by Bailey just before the midway point of the period. Cal Clutterbuck wrapped around the net and threw a shot on goal. The puck caromed off the side of the cage to Bailey, who grabbed the loose disc and wristed it past Stalock to make it 3-2.
"Anytime you give the lead up it's disappointing obviously," Stalock said. "We knew they were going to come with a push."
The Islanders clearly had control of the momentum with their first lead of the night, but Hertl changed that when he skated in on Halak and sent a wrist shot into the back of the net to help San Jose pull even.
Earlier, the Islanders outshot their opponent, 14-3, in a scoreless opening period.
Although it was dominated over the first 20 minutes of action, San Jose opened the scoring 1:39 into the second. Burns' slapshot was blocked by the skate of Tavares and the Islanders' captain went down to the ice in pain. Later in the cycle, with the Sharks essentially up a man because of the injured Tavares laying on the ice, Burns found himself open out in front off a pass from Joe Pavelski and sent a slapshot past Halak for a 1-0 lead.
Tavares skated off on his own power and helped New York tie the game minutes later. The Islanders maintained possession in their offensive zone during a scrum out in front of the net, and Tavares poked a loose puck back to Leddy, who blasted a slap shot top shelf to even the score.
San Jose was on the power play after a Ryan Strome cross-checking penalty, and Marleau pushed the visitors in front through two periods with a slap shot from the top of the left circle.Game Notes
Mikhail Grabovsky left the game late in the first period after a hard hit by
John Scott and did not return ... Mirco Mueller recorded his first career
point, tallying the secondary assist on Burns' goal in the second ... Overall,
San Jose had taken five of six and seven of its last nine in the series.