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Hockey

Kings look to break power-play slump against Islanders

Tyler Toffoli, Danny DeKeyser
Forward Tyler Toffoli, shown during a game earlier this season, is on the trip with the Kings.
(Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

The Kings take to the road in search of what they could not find at the end of their seven-game home stand. 

First on that list is a win. A close second is power-play success. 

“We just need to be good on every power play,” defenseman Drew Doughty said after Saturday’s morning skate. “I feel like we’ll go one power play where we’re good, the next we’re just not and then maybe decent. We just need to string together good power plays in order to do better there.”

The Kings (22-19-4) are coming off back-to-back losses and face the New York Islanders at 4 p.m. at Barclays Center on Saturday. Their last power-play goal came in a 5-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Jan. 12, making them scoreless in their last 14 power-play opportunities. That includes four failed attempts in an overtime win over the Winnipeg Jets, three in a one-goal loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday and four more in a one-goal loss to the San Jose Sharks on Wednesday. 

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The Islanders (18-17-8) have the Eastern Conference’s worst record and the 18th best penalty kill in the league at 80.5%. The Kings’ power play (16.4%) rests at 23rd in the NHL. Kings Coach Darryl Sutter called special teams the difference in that win over the Blues nine days ago. 

That has also been the case in the three games since, just not in the way the Kings would like. 

“It’s not just one thing or doing things differently,” Doughty said. “We know how we want to play on the power play and we just have to do it.”

Toffoli on the trip

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Kings forward Tyler Toffoli, who has been sidelined since Dec. 20 with a lower-body injury, made the cross-country trip. He was suited up and skating at Barclays Center on Saturday morning, though Sutter said that did not necessarily indicate an imminent return. 

He did not participate in any drills during the brief morning skate. 

“We’re trying to get him back on the ice on an everyday basis,” Sutter said, adding that Toffoli has yet to practice. “And it’s way better that he’s under our supervision and being with the team.”

Sutter also said it was important for Toffoli to be on the ice heading into the upcoming All-Star break. After facing the Islanders, the Kings visit the New York Rangers, New Jersey Devils and Carolina Hurricanes before heading back to Los Angeles. The four-game road trip leads into the break, which makes this the only time Toffoli can work with coaches and the training staff before then. 

Toffoli still ranks third on the Kings with eight goals despite missing the last 13 games.

jesse.dougherty@latimes.com

Twitter: @dougherty_jesse

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