UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The surprising New York Islanders are starting the second half on a down note as top-line forward Kyle Okposo will be sidelined six to eight weeks because of an undisclosed upper-body injury.
Islanders coach Jack Capuano delivered the news Monday after the first practice following the NHL All-Star break. Okposo, who played in New York's first 46 games this season, is second on the club with 44 points ? one fewer than All-Star John Tavares. He has 14 goals, including four against Pittsburgh on Jan. 16.
Okposo played three days later against Philadelphia and practiced with the club last Tuesday before the break.
"I kind of had an idea before the break, but it definitely comes as a shock," Capuano said Monday. "Kyle's play is dictating how we go and the pace we play with."
The Metropolitan Division-leading Islanders (31-14-1) are scheduled to host the New York Rangers, weather permitting, on Tuesday night.