On January 2nd, 2014 the New York Islanders found themselves matched up against the champion Chicago Blackhawks, for a chance at a three game win streak and to prove that they can compete.
The first period was a back and forth game that wouldn't find its first score until a Casey Cizikas takeaway in the neutral zone. Streaking down the ice, Cizikas makes a quick move around netminder Corey Crawford to give the Islanders the early lead.
Thomas Vanek would also add to the lead only eight minutes into the second period. Thomas Hickey would swing the puck to the blue line for Andrew Macdonald who would then put the puck on net. The shot would be blocked but Vanek would be right there with a backhand on the rebound to score the Islanders second goal of the night. The Blackhawks would not remain scoreless going into the third period. After a Matt Carkner tripping minor, the Blackhawks would score their first goal with the man advantage.
The Blackhawks would then tie the game only two minutes into the third period off a wrist-shot from Ben Smith. Both the Islanders and the Blackhawks would see multiple chances at goals in the third, only to be denied by their respective goaltenders.
Going into the overtime period with a horrible overtime record at home, the Islanders had a lot to prove if they wanted to keep their streak alive. After being cut from team USA, Kyle Okposo would make a statement that was almost like poetic justice for the situation at hand. Okposo had already extended his league leading 8th consecutive point in the second period, but an attempted shot by John Tavares would see the puck deflected right to Okposo at the right circle. Without hesitation Okposo rips the shot, top shelf, beating Crawford for the overtime win of 3-2.
The Islanders extend their lead to three games and they will play the Carolina Hurricanes on January 4th at the Nassau Coliseum. Puck will drop at 7:00 EST.