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Kyle Okposo pulls off Datsyukian deke to beat Michal Neuvirth

Jared Clinton
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Kyle Okposo toe-drags the puck before scoring (via NHL/YouTube) Author: The Hockey News

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Kyle Okposo pulls off Datsyukian deke to beat Michal Neuvirth

Jared Clinton
By:

New York Islanders winger Kyle Okposo scored a jaw-dropping shootout tally. Borrowing a move from Detroit’s Pavel Datsyuk, Okposo went with a backhanded toe drag before roofing the puck past Philadelphia Flyers netminder Michal Neuvirth for the shootout winner.

Kyle Okposo must have been studying film of Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, because the New York Islanders right winger scored a jaw-dropping shootout goal that utilized a move that looked incredibly similar to the one Datsyuk made popular.

Okposo had his number called for the Islanders during the second round of the shootout Tuesday against the Philadelphia Flyers, and he didn’t disappoint coach Jack Capuano. After winding into the zone, Okposo made a head fake with the puck on his forehand before shifting it to his backhand and feigning a shot glove side. Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth bit on the second fake attempt, at which point Okposo pulled the puck around Neuvirth with a backhand toe-drag before Okposo popped the puck into the top of the net on his forehand:

That’s a smooth goal from arguably the most lethal shootout shooter so far this season. Okposo is one of 24 players to have at least three attempts in the shootout this season, and he’s gone four for five in the breakaway competition. His 80 percent conversion rate is second to only Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan, who has gone five for six.

The Islanders have a big decision to make this season when it comes to Okposo. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent and some believe he could make it through the entire season without a contract extension. Okposo, 27, is going to command a significant raise over the $2.8 million he’s making this season, especially considering his output over the past three seasons. Since the beginning of the 2013-14 season, Okposo has scored 51 goals and 148 points in 160 games, making him a .93 points per game player.

With Okposo’s size and strength, he’s the prototypical power forward. If he hits the open market, he’ll be one of the biggest-name free agents available.

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Kyle Okposo pulls off Datsyukian deke to beat Michal Neuvirth