(photo: Dinur Blum)
After a long road trip, the Los Angeles Kings finally returned home to take on the visiting New York Islanders who played their second game in as many nights. The Islanders were 30 miles outside of LA last night where they outscored the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 in overtime. Despite coming into the game on short rest, the Islanders outlasted the Kings, winning 2-1 in a matchup that went all the way to a shootout.
Coming into this game, the Kings had owned home ice, winning 6 straight at the Staples Center. LA’s regulation win streak will continue, but their home record will now stand at 6-1-1. Jonathan Quick started in net for the Kings while Chad Johnson was between the pipes for the Islanders.
Kings’ right-winger Justin Williams missed tonight’s game; he was out with an eye injury which was the result of contact with Brenden Dillon’s stick under Williams’ visor in LA’s game on November 4th against the Dallas Stars in Texas. Reports so far have indicated that his injury is not serious. Williams’ was out, but Jordan Nolan returned to the line-up after serving a two game suspension for boarding Red Wings’ forward, Darren Helm, in Detroit last Friday.
Each team scored in the first period and shots on goal were about even. Brock Nelson netted his 7th goal in the first for the Islanders and Dwight King got his 2nd of the season later into the period. Neither team had a significant shot advantage in the second, although LA did have a few good chances on a power play, but could not convert.
The Islanders and Kings continued to play hard into the third, but despite a number of good chances, neither team took the lead and the game headed into overtime. Both goaltenders, Quick for LA and Johnson for the Islanders, made some stellar saves to keep the score tied at 1-1 when the buzzer sounded.
Heading into OT, the Kings were out shooting the away team by just a handful of shots. Quick made some incredible saves in OT to keep his team in the game, which helped to send the game into a shootout. But the Islanders got the last word in the shootout. Johnson was able to stop both Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter’s shots and both Islanders’ shooters got the green light. Kyle Okposo’s backhand got past Quick and Frans Nielsen’s snapshot won it for the Isles.
Quick had 32 saves on the night, while Johnson stopped 30 shots.
It was a competition of endurance for the Islanders and Kings. Neither team out shot the opposition by much. LA did a terrific job of keeping it close, but just couldn’t hold on in the shootout. Both teams played a face paced game which was impressive for the Isles who showed little to no signs of fatigue after playing just one night prior.
The Islanders will continue their road trip out west, making stops in Colorado and Arizona before they head back to Nassau Veterans Memorial Stadium.