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New York at Dallas

Tavares breaks tie with late goal, Islanders win at Dallas

CBSSports.com wire reports
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DALLAS -- 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 against 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 road games in a row.

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.

"It's just great awareness by Cal and Thomas, two great plays really to set it up," Tavares said. "I had the easy part, to put it in. Just kind of go to the net hard, find some open space and happy the puck came to me."

Ellis stopped 27 shots.

"Dan made probably three or four great saves to keep the score where it was at," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "He made the saves that could have allowed us to win the game, even get a point out of the game."

The Stars' first goal was at 11:45 of the first period. Vernon Fiddler hustled in to pick up the puck against the back boards, and pushed it across to Alex Chiasson. He passed to Whitney skating into the left circle, and his shot went in past Poulin's left leg.

Gonchar then intercepted a pass inside the blue line, skated to the top of the right circle and fired a shot inside the left post at 18:12. It was the first goal of Gonchar's 19th NHL season.

The Islanders began their comeback in the second period. They nearly scored 9 minutes in, but Ellis stopped Colin McDonald's tip from in front of the net.

Okposo then broke through for New York at 10:47 of the second, scoring from low in the right circle. Assists went to Vanek and Tavares.

Notes

In last Monday's game, Tavares tied a career high with five points. Vanek added two assists, but Okposo missed the game because of the birth of his first child. The line totaled three goals and three assists Sunday. ... Vanek has at least one point in 11 of his past 12 games, with a total of 17 points. ... New York defenseman Travis Hamonic did not play in the third period because he was sick. ... The Stars' six consecutive losses all have been against Eastern Conference teams.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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It has been that kind of January for goaltender Dan Ellis and the Stars, who are now 0-6-0 since New Year's Eve.  (USATSI)
It has been that kind of January for goaltender Dan Ellis and the Stars, who are now 0-6-0 since New Year's Eve. (USATSI)

Scoreboard
NY Islanders  (18-22-7) «0134
Dallas (20-18-7)2002
Three Stars
K. Okposo
NYI


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
K. Poulin
NYI


Saves: 29
Save Pct.: .935
J. Tavares
NYI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
11:45 - Ray Whitney (5), Snap Shot. Assist: Chiasson, Fiddler
18:12 - Sergei Gonchar (1), Wrist Shot, Unassisted.
2ND PERIOD
10:47 - Kyle Okposo (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Vanek, Tavares
3RD PERIOD
15:44 - Kyle Okposo (19), Wrist Shot. Assist: de Haan
18:36 - John Tavares (21), Wrist Shot. Assist: de Haan, Vanek
19:08 - Brock Nelson (6), Empty Net. Assist: Bailey
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
12:03Cole, 2 min, Holding
14:25McDonald, 2 min, Charging
2ND PERIOD
13:04MacDonald, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
12:38Garbutt, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
 123T
NYI991331
DAL166931
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Kevin Poulin59:09292
Dan Ellis59:19273
Game Information
Attendance - 13765
Referees - Francis Charron, Dan O'Rourke
Linesmen - Ryan Galloway, Darren Gibbs
 
Other Games
Buf 2 Final
Wash 1
Min 4 Final
Nash 0
Phi 1 Final
NYR 4
NJ 2 Final
Tor 3
Edm 3 Final
Chi 5
Det 0 Final
Ana 1