Top Shelf: Islanders Daily 1/3/14

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The two best words to describe last night’s overtime win against the Chicago Blackhawks: Poetic justice.

Kyle Okposo, the man who was completely snubbed from what looks to be a meager Team USA, recorded two points, including a game winning snipe of a shot to win the game for the Islanders in overtime. Okposo now has 42 points in 42 games, and is the second highest US-born scorer in the NHL.

Okposo and his team are firing on all cylinders, winning three straight games including two straight against the Stanley Cup champions and the runner-ups. We are finally starting to see that magical of team that we saw at the end of last season, and while it’s early, it doesn’t show signs of stopping.

Evgeni Nabokov continued his brilliance since returning to action, making 37 saves on 39 shots yesterday, and improving his record to a solid 4-2-2 since returning from his injury. Had it not been for Okposo’s performance, Nabokov would have been the first star of the game, as he bailed the Islanders out on a few occasions, and kept the team relevant amidst the Blackhawk’s strongest moments of play.

Aside from the big win from yesterday, there were a few noteworthy roster moves. Aaron Ness was sent down to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers of the AHL. In exchange, Matt Donovan will return to the Islanders for his second stint this season. This move was long overdue, as Ness began to struggle in the NHL, as Donovan shined in the AHL. It’s arguable that Donovan shouldn’t have even been in Bridgeport at all this season with the way he was playing before his demotion, but the Islanders certainly made the right decision in brining back up to Long Island.

Radek Martinek was also taken off Injured Reserve yesterday, as he has resumed practicing with the team and is ready to play. Expect him to re-assume the role he had before his injury, serving as an extra defenseman and getting playing time every-so-often.

So now, we all anxiously await Saturday Night’s home game against the Carolina Hurricanes, as the Islanders try to make it four straight wins (boy, does it feel sweet to say that!). We’re may be seeing a resurgence by our beloved team, and it certainly is exciting to watch.

-PM (@pjmcentee)

In Case You Missed It

Around the NHL

  • New York Islanders 3, Chicago 2 (OT)
  • Carolina Hurricanes 4, Washington Capitals 3 (OT)
  • St. Louis Blues 5, Los Angeles Kings 0
  • Boston Bruins 3, Nashville Predators 2 (OT)
  • Ottawa Senators 4, Winnipeg Jets 3
  • Minnesota Wild 4, Boston Bruins 1
  • Montreal Canadiens 6, Dallas Stars 4
  • Colorado Avalanche 2, Philadelphia Flyers 1
  • Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Phoenix Coyotes 0
  • San Jose Sharks 5, Edmonton Oilers 1

Across the Sound