Kyle Okposo (Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images)
Kyle Okposo has had some bumps in the road during his NHL career, but he's been a force for the Islanders in the first round of their series against Washington – and on Sunday in Game 3, he was laying into Caps' players with big-time checks and the first goal of the game.
I said after the Islanders' Game 1 win that the Capitals were in trouble if their opponents got production from core players other than Isles captain John Tavares – veteran winger Kyle Okposo being one of those players – and in Game 3 Sunday, Washington was getting knocked around, on the ice and the scoresheet, for exactly that reason.
Okposo in particular was a force to reckon with in Game 3: Late in the first period, he laid a thunderous hit on Caps' winger Eric Fehr:
Fehr, who has a history of shoulder issues, was driven shoulder-first into the boards by Okposo and was forced out of the game by the hit. And Okposo wasn't done after that. In the second period, he was robbed by Caps goalie Braden Holtby on a shot in close, but almost immediately tipped a shot past him for the game's first goal:
Big things were projected for Okposo when the Islanders drafted him seventh overall in 2007, and although he's had some bumps in the road, the 27-year-old is delivering in a meaningful way for the organization now.