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Updated: December 29th, 2013 10:45pm
Wild losing streak hits 5 games after blowing 3-goal lead to Islanders

Wild losing streak hits 5 games after blowing 3-goal lead to Islanders

by The Associated Press
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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Kyle Okposo scored twice midway through the third period, and the New York Islanders overcame a three-goal deficit to beat the Minnesota Wild 5-4 on Sunday night.

John Tavares, Cal Clutterbuck and Thomas Hickey also scored for the Islanders, who won for the third time in eight games.

Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine had goals for the Wild, who have lost five straight.

Okposo's second goal, with 5:48 to play, capped a wild 2-minute span in which the Islanders took the lead, lost it and regained it.

Okposo, who played 1 1/2 seasons at the University of Minnesota, scored the winner with 5:48 to play when he raced in from the left wall and put in a rebound after Thomas Vanek was stopped by Josh Harding.

The goal came 27 seconds after Fontaine lifted a rebound over New York goalie Kevin Poulin to tie it 4-4. Okposo had given the Islanders a 4-3 lead 92 seconds earlier when his slap shot beat Harding low on the glove side.

With the Islanders trailing 3-0 midway through the second period, Tavares took a shot from the right edge of the crease that hit Mikko Koivu's skate. The New York captain reached in and poked the puck across the line.

Clutterbuck, traded for Niederreiter on June 30, tipped in a shot from Hickey late in the period to get the Islanders within one goal.

Hickey tied it at 6:30 of the third, cutting across the crease to tip a pass from Colin McDonald high into the Wild net.

Coming off a winless four-game road trip in which they were outscored 19-8, the Wild fell to 15-4-2 at home. They had won 10 of 12 there and 14 of 17.

Harding returned after missing four games to adjust his medications for multiple sclerosis, but the Wild played their third straight game without their best offensive player. Zach Parise was placed on the injured list on Saturday because of a bruised foot.

Even without Parise, Minnesota had the game's first eight shots, the last of which gave the Wild a 1-0 lead early in the first period when Suter's wrist shot on a rebound beat Poulin. It was Suter's first goal in 51 games.

Brodin and Niederreiter scored in the first 3 minutes of the second period for a 3-0 lead.

Poulin got a piece of a wrist shot from Brodin after the defenseman took a pass from Koivu, but the puck trickled across the line at 39 seconds. The assist was the 300th of Koivu's career. He added No. 301 at 2:59 when Niederreiter -- the Islanders top pick in the 2010 draft -- beat Poulin from in front.

Game notes

--Minnesota began a four-game homestand, tied for its longest of the season. St. Louis, Buffalo and Washington will visit before the week is done.

--Minnesota welcomed the 10-millionth fan to watch the team at the Xcel Energy Center.

© The Associated Press
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