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Okposo hat trick lifts Islanders past Oilers

Six players score in win against Edmonton

by Brian Compton @BComptonNHL / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

Okposo notches hat trick with PPG

EDM@NYI: Okposo nets third goal of game on power play

2/7/16: Kyle Okposo rattles in his third goal of the game to complete a hat trick on the power play in the 3rd period

  • 01:23 •

NEW YORK -- Kyle Okposo had a hat trick and an assist and John Tavares had a goal and two assists to help the New York Islanders to an 8-1 win against the Edmonton Oilers at Barclays Center on Sunday.

Johnny Boychuk, Nikolay Kulemin, Josh Bailey and Cal Clutterbuck had goals for New York (27-18-6), which avoided a three-game losing streak. Thomas Greiss made 30 saves in his first start since Jan. 12.

The victory moved the Islanders into third place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils.

"You're aware of where you're at," Okposo said. "But it's definitely early. We know if we take care of business, things will sort themselves out."

Connor McDavid scored for Edmonton (21-28-5). Anders Nilsson allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period before being pulled. Cam Talbot made 16 saves in relief.

Boychuk opened the scoring 2:57 into the game. Boychuk, who returned Saturday after missing more than a month because of an upper-body injury, took a pass from Nick Leddy and beat Nilsson with a slap shot from above the right circle to give the Islanders a 1-0 lead.

Video: EDM@NYI: Boychuk opens scoring with long-range goal

Greiss kept the Oilers off the scoreboard five minutes later when he denied Jordan Eberle on an odd-man rush. Moments after a penalty to Oilers defenseman Griffin Reinhart expired, Greiss managed to deflect Eberle's wrist shot from the right circle.

"It was nice to get recharged there," Greiss said of his long layoff. "I jump in there when I get the call. It always helps when you get a bunch of quick goals." 

Tavares then doubled New York's lead when he scored at 9:12 of the first period. With the teams at even strength, Ryan Strome fed Tavares at the left circle, where the latter sent a wrist shot from a sharp angle past Nilsson to make it 2-0. Tavares has a point in seven of his past nine games.

Video: EDM@NYI: Tavares adds to lead in the 1st period

Kulemin made it 3-0 at 11:24. Nilsson was able to deny Frans Nielsen's wrist shot from the slot, but Kulemin, who went 12 straight games without a goal, followed the play and converted on the rebound.

Oilers coach Todd McLellan pulled Nilsson after Kulemin's goal in favor of Talbot. New York outshot Edmonton 16-7 in the first period.

"I'm really disappointed in the preparation, the approach to the game," McLellan said. "We got our butts handed to us in Montreal (a 5-1 loss on Saturday) and we came in here and responded in a very inappropriate way and that's very disappointing."

The momentum carried over into the second period when Okposo scored a power-play goal at 2:32. Moments after Greiss robbed Benoit Pouliot's breakaway chance, Okposo took a pass from Leddy and beat Talbot with a wrist shot from the right circle to make it 4-0.

Okposo scored again 3:37 later when his wrist shot from inside the blue line found its way through a crowd and past Talbot.

Greiss, who won for the 14th time in 22 games this season, raised his save percentage to .929.

"I just know that when he gets his opportunity, he takes the ball and he runs with it," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said of Greiss. "He's worked extremely hard. I just had that feeling he'd be there tonight, and he played well."

The Oilers finally solved Greiss when McDavid scored at 6:50 of the second period. Greiss made an initial save, but the rebound went off Islanders center Casey Cizikas to McDavid, who tapped it over the goal line to make it 5-1.

Video: EDM@NYI: McDavid battles, scores Oilers' first goal

McDavid has two goals and four assists since returning from a broken clavicle on Feb. 2.

"We've got to be better than that. That's all," McDavid said.

Bailey restored New York's five-goal lead when he redirected Anders Lee's shot from the left point past Talbot at 9:36 of the second period.

Clutterbuck made it 7-1 at 16:04 of the second when he beat Talbot with a wrist shot from the slot.

Okposo completed the hat trick with 12:33 remaining on a power-play goal. It was his 15th goal of the season.

"Those games are tough to play on both sides in the third period," Okposo said. "But we did a good job managing the puck and not taking any shortcuts."

Video: Isles score often in win as Oksopo collects hat trick

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