SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Poulin kept the struggling New York Islanders in the game long enough for their top line to give the team a much-needed win.
Kyle Okposo scored the tying goal with 1:37 left in regulation and got the game-winner in the fourth round of a shootout to help the Islanders snap a 10-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.
"This is a very good feeling," said captain John Tavares, who assisted on both goals. "It gives us some confidence, but at the same time we can't relax. They came out hard and Poulie did a great job of keeping us in it until we finally generated some momentum."
Poulin made 18 of his 46 saves in a stellar first period and also stopped three of four attempts in the shootout despite needing help from the trainer after feeling dehydrated following a pad save against Joe Pavelski in the first round.
Thomas Vanek also scored in the third period and shootout for the Islanders, who had lost 10 straight in regulation on the road as well as the 10 in a row overall.
"This was big for us," Okposo said. "They're a good team. As bad as we played in the first period, to stick with it all game and go into the third period down 2-0, to get this win was huge."
Patrick Marleau and Pavelski scored for the Sharks, who blew a 2-0 lead and have lost four straight. Antti Niemi made 26 saves.
"Third period in our building up 2-0, we've got to win those games," Pavelski said.
The Sharks seemed to be in control heading into the third, but the game changed after Vanek knocked in a rebound of Tavares' shot in the opening minute of the period. The Islanders controlled play for much of the rest of the period before getting the equalizer shortly after pulling Poulin for an extra skater.
Tavares cleanly won a faceoff from Pavelski, and Okposo fired a shot through a screen by Vanek that beat Niemi.
"Johnny has done a great job for us on drops," Okposo said. "I was looking to find someone but I had a lane and I tried to get it in there. It had eyes."