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Okposo anticipating his return Sunday

Islanders forward missed practices this week after suffering an eye injury last Saturday

Saturday, 09.28.2013 / 6:44 PM / News
By Travis Betts
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Okposo anticipating his return Sunday
Islanders forward missed practices this week after suffering an eye injury last Saturday

The Islanders will get one of their key pieces back in time for Sunday’s preseason finale(s) against the Ottawa Senators.

Kyle Okposo, who missed Friday’s tilt against the Nashville Predators and was absent during most of this week’s practices after taking an errant stick to the eye last Saturday against the New Jersey Devils, was skating with the team today at Nassau Coliseum. The 25-year-old is excited about returning to the lineup for one of Sunday’s split-squad games.

“I’m feeling good and I’m happy to be back practicing,” Okposo said. “I’m going to go out there and work on getting the timing back. I haven’t seen game action in a week, and I didn’t practice for a couple of days. I lost a little bit of that timing, but I’m sure I’ll be alright tomorrow.”

Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano has indicated that Okposo may see time on a line with Matt Moulson and John Tavares. Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Josh Bailey have taken turns on Tavares’ right side, and Capuano wants to use Sunday’s contest to make the best decision for his opening night lines.

Whatever line Okposo is on Sunday, defenseman Andrew MacDonald says the seventh-year winger’s presence will make the team better in a number of areas.

“Kyle’s been around here for a while,” MacDonald said. “He brings some good leadership and he has the ability on the ice to make plays. His strong body and his work ethic dictates a lot of the play out there.”

Bailey, who played on a line with Okposo throughout most of last season, said it was good to see his teammate out on the ice at Saturday’s practice.

“He’s such a talented player and good leader for us,” Bailey said. “He really brings a lot to the table every day for us. Whether it’s the power play, penalty kill, all situations, he’s always working hard. It’s good to have him back.”

If there is ever a good time for an injury, perhaps Saturday night at Barclays Center was it. The team had five days between games, and the regular season was 13 days away at that point. The final preseason tune-up should give everyone, Okposo included, an idea of how much work needs to be done in order to get ready for the October 4 season opener in New Jersey and then the home opener the following night.

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Tavares 46 21 24 -2 45
K. Okposo 46 14 30 -2 44
R. Strome 46 8 25 16 33
B. Nelson 46 15 15 6 30
F. Nielsen 46 9 16 4 25
J. Boychuk 36 4 18 15 22
J. Bailey 34 8 13 8 21
N. Leddy 46 7 14 15 21
N. Kulemin 46 11 9 1 20
A. Lee 40 13 5 7 18
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 25 9 0 .910 2.41
C. Johnson 6 5 0 .870 3.38

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