Uniondale, NY, United States (4E Sports) – Kyle Okposo netted the game-tying goal in regulation and scored in the fourth round of the shootout to lift the New York Islanders to a 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Monday at Nassau Coliseum.
“He’s a leader of our team. He’s going to do what it takes to win,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of Okposo. “You’ve got to play hard and you have to play physical. I thought he did that tonight, and I thought guys rallied around him.”
John Tavares and Brock Nelson also scored for the Islanders while Anders Nilsson made 26 saves in his first game in more than a month. Tavares and Frans Nielsen also scored in the shootout as the Islanders (20-24-7) notched their ninth win in 12 games.
Matt Read scored twice and Wayne Simmonds once while Ray Emery stopped a season-high 40 shots for the Flyers (25-19-6). Read and Claude Giroux beat Nilsson in the tiebreaker before the Swedish goaltender stopped Sean Couturier to clinch the win.
Read opened the scoring while the Flyers were shorthanded early in the second. With Nicklas Grossmann off for hooking, Read sprinted down the left side before speeding toward the Islanders net and lifting a backhand to the top right corner over Nilsson’s shoulder for a 1-0 lead.
Tavares tied the game at 1-1 when he found a loose puck on the doorstep with 10:34 left in the second. Tavares fed Thomas Vanek in the slot but the latter couldn’t get off a shot. The puck then slid towards Tavares, who beat Emery in close for his 23rd of the season.
The Flyers responded to Tavares’ equalizer with two unanswered goals but Brock Nelson cut Philadelphia’s lead to 3-2 when he took Josh Bailey’s cross-crease pass in front of the net to beat Emery for his eighth goal at 8:16.
Okposo tied the game on the power play, 68 seconds after Steve Downie was called for holding. Nielsen found Okposo at the side of the Philadelphia net, where the puck bounced off his skate and in for his 20th goal.