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Thursday, January 2, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Islanders 3, Hawks 2 (OT)

By Mike Mazzeo
Special to ESPNChicago.com


 
NEW YORK -- Here’s a quick look at the Chicago Blackhawks' 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Nassau Coliseum.

How it happened: After the Blackhawks rallied from a two-goal deficit, Kyle Okposo, who was left off the U.S. Olympic hockey team, notched the winner 58 seconds into the extra period.

The Islanders went ahead 2-0 on goals by Casey Cizikas (first-period breakaway) and Thomas Vanek (second-period garbage marker in front).

Brent Seabrook got the Blackhawks within 2-1 with a power-play goal -- his fifth goal of the season -- at 18 minutes, 36 seconds of the second period. Seabrook took a cross-ice pass from Kris Versteeg and buried a one-timer from the left circle.

Chicago would tie the game at 2 just 1:50 into the third period. Jam attempts at the doorstep by Patrick Sharp and Jonathan Toews would not go, but a third try by Ben Smith did find the back of the net. It was Smith’s fifth goal of the season.

Corey Crawford (17-6-4), making his first start since Dec. 8 after missing nearly a month due to a lower-body injury, made 31 saves. Evgeni Nabokov made 37 saves for the Islanders.

What it means: The Blackhawks dropped to 28-7-8, 13-5-3 on the road, but they picked up a point and Crawford was spectacular in his return.

Player of the game: Crawford, who was especially brilliant early in the third period; his left pad save on John Tavares was top-notch. So was his highway robbery of Okposo late in regulation.

Stat of the game: The Blackhawks outshot the Islanders 39-34.

What’s next: The Blackhawks wrap up their two-game East Coast swing Friday night in New Jersey against the Devils at Prudential Center.