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Tavares leads Islanders over Stars 4-2

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 12, 2014 at 9:52 pm •  Published: January 12, 2014

DALLAS (AP) — The top line for the New York Islanders has been particularly hard on the Dallas Stars.

John Tavares scored with 1:24 to go and Brock Nelson added an empty-netter, leading the streaking Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the slumping Stars on Sunday.

Kyle Okposo had two goals in New York's fourth consecutive victory. The Islanders (18-22-7) also have won seven straight road games.

The Islanders rallied past the Stars after trailing 2-0 after one period for the second time in a week. Taveras has four goals and three assists in the two games. Thomas Vanek has four assists and Okposo has the two goals.

This time, New York scored three goals in the final 4:16.

"We're competing. We're defending a little better," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of the team's recent success. "Playing more within the team concept. I think when you can utilize your four lines that we do, a lot of guys the minutes are distributed."

Dallas (20-18-7) has lost six in a row for the first time since March 2011.

Ray Whitney and Sergei Gonchar scored first-period goals for the Stars against goalie Kevin Poulin, who finished with 29 saves.

"When our goaltenders play well, we give ourselves a chance," Capuano said. "(Injured goalie Evgeni) Nabokov was playing well and the last few games Kevin has played well for us too."

The Stars had 11 giveaways in the game to only two by New York.

"They came at us pretty good for the last 40 minutes," Whitney said. "It was a combination of them playing a little better than they did in the first and us turning the pucks over at the wrong time and against the wrong line."

Okposo scored in the second, and tied it at 15:44 of the third with a drive from the top of the right faceoff circle.

"We knew we could turn it around," Okposo said. "I thought still in the second period we came out a little bit slow but started to tilt the ice."

For the winning goal, Tavares got a cross-ice pass from Calvin de Haan and beat Dan Ellis from the right faceoff circle for his 21st goal of the season, including four against the Stars. Ellis scrambled to get back across the goal, and tried in vain to glove the puck before it went into the short side of the net.

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