Islanders power their way past Kings
The first power-play goal was an anomaly, and the Kings could live with an anomaly.
The second power-play goal was a game-winner, which they could not stomach in a 4-2 loss to the Islanders at the Barclays Center on Saturday night. The Kings (22-20-4) faced a team that had not scored on the power play in six games, and allowed them to do so three times in five opportunities. Goals from Jeff Carter and Drew Doughty led a late surge, but it was not enough to avoid a three-game losing streak and poor start to a four-game East Coast swing.
Anders Lee scored two of the Islanders’ power-play goals, Jason Chimera started the scoring in the first and John Tavares scored a hollowed empty-net power-play goal in the final minute. It was the fifth straight game in which they scored three or more goals.
“The guys did a good job, tied it up,” Kings Coach Darryl Sutter said. “It’s sort of the same — they scored those two power-plays goals, same things, one either a rebound or between the goalie and the defenseman in front. You’ve got to stop the puck and win a battle.”
The Kings’ shots piled up, unflinchingly, as the first 40 minutes ticked by.
Fourteen shots on goal in the first period. Fourteen more in the second. But their offense operated like a metronome: It generated shot after shot after shot, but no goals to cut through a monotonous rhythm.
“There were 28 shots and I’d say a good 15 of them were just easy saves for him with guys not in front and guys not going into the net,” Doughty said of the first two periods. “We got to look to shoot more rebounds and tips and stuff like that in order to score in this league. It’s good to get shots, I’m not saying don’t get shots. But we’d like to have more quality shots, definitely.”
The Islanders, conversely, capitalized on far fewer opportunities. Chimera’s first-period score, which hit Peter Budaj in the mask before trickling in, came on their first shot on goal. Lee’s second-period power-play goal was their first in six games — snapping 0-for-21 drought — and came off a Tavares rebound.
On the other end of the ice, Jean-Francois Berube extended a more redeeming streak. The Islanders were coming off back-to-back shutouts by Thomas Greiss and, when the second ended, had not allowed a goal in eight periods.
But that only lasted for 37 more seconds. Carter gathered a stray puck in front and beat a slow-to-slide Berube with a backhanded shot. Less than four minutes later, Doughty’s slap shot caromed through a crowd and into the net to knot the score.
The Kings — after a fast start, a fluky goal and an anemic offensive effort despite a small handful of tangible chances — were awake. They were even, for a moment or two, in control. Then Derek Forbort was called for holding and Lee tipped a Nick Leddy slap shot by Budaj 9 minutes and 31 seconds into the third.
It took just 10 seconds for Forbort to exit the penalty box, shaking his head as the Islanders celebrated the decisive goal.
“When you tie it up 2-2 we have all the momentum on our side,” Doughty said. “It sucks to give up a goal right after that.”
Go beyond the scoreboard
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