Okposo paces Isles' rally from 3 down to top Wild

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 29, 2013 at 11:13 pm •  Published: December 29, 2013
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The freefalling Minnesota Wild left their coach speechless on Sunday night.

It wasn't for a good reason.

Kyle Okposo scored twice midway through the third period, and the New York Islanders overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Wild 5-4 on Sunday night.

John Tavares, Cal Clutterbuck and Thomas Hickey also scored for the Islanders, who won for the third time in eight games.

Tavares rejoined the lineup one night after sitting out a home game against New Jersey because of an undisclosed lower-body injury.

Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine had goals for the Wild, who have lost five straight and eight of 11.

"It was there for us. That's the disturbing part," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "It's hard to find the words for this because this is beyond disturbing right now.

"We have to find a way to win that game. You're up 3-0 and you're at home. There's no excuses."

Coming off a winless four-game road trip in which they were outscored 19-8, the Wild fell to 15-4-2 at home. They had won 10 of 12 there and 14 of 17. Minnesota has home games during the upcoming week against St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington.

At the season's halfway point, Minnesota is tied for ninth place in the Western Conference with Dallas. Four of their next six games are against top-eight teams in the conference.

"You just need to win. That's the only way you come out of this," Wild captain Mikko Koivu said. "The only way you can win in this league is to play a good 60-minute game. We're going to analyze it (Monday) and find a way."

The Islanders didn't play a complete game, either, but they were good enough.

"We just kept chipping away and kept chipping away," Okposo said. "We were down 3-0, and kind of regrouped. We decided to go after them and start moving our feet.

"For the first 22 minutes we weren't doing that, so we decided to get pucks deep and go to the net."

Okposo's second goal capped a wild 2-minute span in which the Islanders took the lead, lost it, and regained it.

Okposo, who played 1 1-2 seasons at the University of Minnesota, scored the winner with 5:48 to play when he raced in from the left wall and put in a rebound after Thomas Vanek was stopped by Josh Harding.

The goal came 27 seconds after Fontaine lifted a rebound over New York goalie Kevin Poulin to tie it 4-4. Okposo had given the Islanders a 4-3 lead 92 seconds earlier when his slap shot beat Harding low on the glove side.