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Tavares scores in shootout, lifts Islanders

UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — John Tavares scored the decisive goal of the shootout and the New York Islanders remained unbeaten with a 4-3 win over the San Jose Sharks on Thursday night.

San Jose’s Logan Couture and New York’s Kyle Okposo traded goals earlier in the shootout before Tavares beat Alex Stalock in the fifth round. San Jose’s Joe Thornton missed on his turn and the Islanders improved to 4-0-0 before a raucous crowd at Nassau Coliseum.

San Jose’s Tomas Hertl tied the tense game at 11:16 of the third after goals by Okposo and Josh Bailey earlier in the period put the Islanders ahead 3-2.

The teams played a pulsating overtime but both goaltenders were up to the task. Stalock made a spectacular glove stop on Tavares in the last minute of the extra 5-minute session and had 42 saves overall.

The Islanders dominated the first two periods, outshooting the Sharks 28-11 but they trailed 2-1 entering the third.

Okposo scored a power-play goal at 5:57 on a slick pass into the slot from Frans Nielsen. Josh Bailey put the home team ahead at 8:38 with his second of the season. The goal inspired one of many loud choruses of “Let’s Go Islanders!” from the Nassau Coliseum crowd.

Okposo’s goal was the Islanders’ sixth on the power-play in 14 chances this season.

Brent Burns and Patrick Marleau scored second-period goals for the Sharks.

The Sharks lost for the first time to fall to 3-1-0. They won their first six contests last year and first seven games in 2012-13.

Burns opened the scoring for the Sharks at 1:39 of the second with assists to Joe Pavelski and Mirco Mueller.

It was the first NHL point for the 19-year-old Mueller, a first-round draft pick by the Sharks in 2013. The goal was first of the season for Burns.

Nick Leddy tied it for the Islanders at 4:05 of the second, pouncing on a loose puck in the high slot and sending it past Stalock for his second goal.

Patrick Marleau put the Sharks back on top with a power-play goal at 9:14, scoring from the left point 7 seconds after Ryan Strome went off for cross-checking.

Marleau’s team-best third goal this season was the 440th of his career. The 35-year-old forward is playing his 18th season with the Sharks.

The Islanders opened the season with two wins over the Carolina Hurricanes and a 6-3 victory over the Rangers at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.

San Jose’s John Scott hammered Mikhail Grabovski midway through the first period with an apparently clean hit. Grabovski didn’t return to the game. The Islanders said he sustained an upper body injury.

Earlier Thursday, the Islanders sent rookie defenseman Griffin Reinhart to AHL Bridgeport and activated Calvin de Haan from injured reserve.

NOTES: The Islanders wore the blue alternate jerseys they debuted for last January’s outdoor game against the Rangers at Yankee Stadium . The Islanders scratched Colin McDonald and Eric Boulton plus defenseman Matt Donovan. … San Jose scratched Mike Brown and Mike Sheppard and defenseman Scott Hannan.

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