SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Down 2-0 after two periods on the road against a team that lost only once at home in regulation this season didn't bode well for the New York Islanders, who lost their previous 10 road games.
However, when left winger Kyle Okposo scored in the fourth round of a shootout after tying the game late in regulation, the Islanders had a 3-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks, their first road win since Nov. 1.
"We all know it's a 60-minute game," Islanders goalie Kevin Poulin said. "This was a step in the right direction."
San Jose saw its winless streak extended to a season-high four games (0-3-1), while New York snapped a 10-game overall winless streak (0-8-2) in addition to the 10-game road skid.
"You're going into the third with a two-goal lead, you want to close out those games," said San Jose's captain, center Joe Thornton. "You don't want to leave it to the last two minutes of the game."
Left winger Thomas Vanek joined Okposo as a shootout scorer for the winners, while Poulin stopped three of four San Jose shooters for the win. Sharks center Logan Couture scored in the tiebreaker.
The Islanders cut the Sharks' two-goal lead after two periods in half within the opening minute of the third period and gained the equalizer late with their goalie pulled.
With New York trailing 2-0, Tavares drove defenseman Justin Braun hard toward the goal, but Sharks goalie Antti Niemi made a right-pad save when the Islanders center shot in close. The stop took Niemi out of position, and Vanek filled an empty net at 51 seconds of the final period.
"It probably gave them a shot in the arm to believe in themselves, and they took it from there," Thornton said.
Then, with Poulin out in favor of an extra skater and following a timeout, Tavares won an offensive-zone draw from San Jose right winger Joe Pavelski. He knocked the puck to Okposo, who fired a high shot from the left point over the right shoulder of Niemi at 18:23.
"Lost it clean, scored short side high. You'd like to get beat by a different shot, you'd like to be in the shooting lane," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "You lose a draw like that, they had one freebie, and they made it count."
Pavelski won 67 percent of his draws (10-5), but his most glaring loss was costly.
"You're having a pretty good night and then it ends up in your net," Pavelski said. "That's the one you want. It's the one you've got to win. It's disappointing."
The Sharks outshot the Islanders 48-28 during regulation and overtime. Poulin made 46 saves, while Niemi stopped 26 shots.
"They came out hard in the first period," Poulin said. "They love to shoot and put the puck on the net. We regrouped after the first period and played the final 40 minutes the way we wanted."
San Jose (19-6-6) broke through to score twice in the middle period, the first coming on power play and the second when San Jose activated its defense following a scoreless opening period.
Left winger Patrick Marleau scored his 14th goal at 5:26, just nine seconds into defenseman Matt Carkner's roughing penalty. The Sharks finally solved Poulin, who stopped the first 23 shots he faced.
The Islanders (9-18-5) had an opportunity to tie the game on their first power play, which began at 8:34 of the second period when San Jose right winger Tommy Wingels held right winger Colin McDonald. However, Vanek hit a post and Tavares fanned on a bouncing puck in front during the 5-on-4 that officially produced no shots.
San Jose scored at even strength when pinching defenseman Dan Boyle was denied by Poulin, but the weak-side rebound was punched home by Pavelski at 15:24.
"We weren't satisfied with the two-goal lead. We knew they would make a push," Boyle said. "Their top line is not very well known for the local average fan, but they certainly have our respect, and they can do a lot of damage."
NOTES: G Evgeni Nabokov did not dress in what would have been his first game as an Islander in San Jose, where he played the first 10 seasons of his career. Nabokov received a long, warm ovation in the first period when his live image was displayed on the video board above center ice. ... D Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion) and D Brian Strait (upper body) remain out for the Isles. ... The Sharks entertain the Minnesota Wild on Thursday before heading back on the road for three games. New York concludes a five-game trip on Thursday against the Phoenix Coyotes. ... San Jose D Scott Hannan was out for a second straight game due to a unspecified lower-body injury. RW Raffi Torres (right ACL surgery), RW Adam Burish (back surgery) and RW Mike Brown (undisclosed) remain out for San Jose. ... The Islanders made their first visit to San Jose since Nov. 11, 2010. ... LW James Sheppard and C John McCarthy were healthy scratches for the Sharks. D Radek Martinek and C Peter Regin did not dress for the Islanders.