Isles Files

Your source for behind-the-scenes New York Islanders hockey news and information.

Kyle Okposo healthy scratch vs. Rangers

Islanders winger Kyle Okposo in a 2009 game.

Islanders winger Kyle Okposo in a 2009 game. (Credit: AP, 2009)

The Isles winger has had a terrible start to the season, with no goals and three assists in 14 games and a team-worst minus-7 rating. The 23-year-old Okposo missed 44 games last season after suffering a shoulder injury in the 2010-11 training camp; when he returned, he had five goals and 15 assists on the wing with Frans Nielsen and Michael Grabner.

This season, Okposo bounced from that spot to a third line with Marty Reasoner and Blake Comeau, a trio that hasn't produced a point in four games together and was on the ice for the Canucks' first goal on Sunday. Okposo has been a minus-6 in his last five games.

Nino Niederreiter will start the game with Comeau and Reasoner.

He was the seventh overall pick in 2007 and became a mainstay as a 19-year-old the following season, scoring 18 and 19 goals his first two years and developing a reputation as a hard-nosed winger willing to do the dirty work to score.

Last season's surgery has clearly taken a toll on the offensive side of his game. He has looked awkward with the puck and unsure of himself, and it has caused his two-way play to suffer.

Jack Capuano didn't address the benching before tonight's game.

The Isles also have a change on defense, with Milan Jurcina back in the lineup in place of Mark Eaton. Jurcina and Mike Mottau will be the third pair.

Evgeni Nabokov, who beat the Rangers on Oct. 15 for his only win of the season, will make his seventh start in net.

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