Kings crown Islanders for fourth straight win
The Los Angeles Kings have plenty of power-play goals this season, and several others in the first few seconds after a penalty expired.
They struck in that situation again Wednesday night, when Dwight King scored late in the third period just 1 second after a power play ended. He added another goal 25 seconds later, Peter Budaj stopped 22 shots and the Kings defeated the New York Islanders 4-2 for their fourth consecutive win.
“We don’t have to get a lot of power-play goals,” Anze Kopitar said. “Obviously it helps and we would like to, but if we build good momentum off it, that helps, too. I think it was three or four, maybe even five times this year where we didn’t get the credit for the power-play goal but we scored within 5 seconds of the guy coming out of the box.”
Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez also scored to help the Kings win their fifth straight at home.
Anders Lee scored twice and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for the Islanders, who dropped to 1-5-1 on the road this season.
King deflected in Derek Forbort’s long shot for the go-ahead goal with 2:53 remaining, showing off the all-around game that has sparked the streaky Kings.
“Forbort is supposed to get it through to the net, somebody is supposed to get in front of the net,” Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter said. “Tic-tac-toe, you put your arms in the air.”
Even Islanders coach Jack Capuano credited the Kings with a score on special teams, saying the late breakdown was representative of how poorly New York’s penalty kill has performed this season.
“It’s frustrating because it’s probably one of the best games we have played coming into this building and can’t get any results,” Capuano said. “Just got to try to find a way to kill one at the end.”
King scored again when he and Trevor Lewis caught the Islanders on a break, and Muzzin added an empty-netter.
Los Angeles now has winning streaks of four, three and four games sandwiched around losing streaks of three, three and four games. In the middle of a stretch that sees them play eight of 10 games at Staples Center, the Kings appear ready capitalize on their current form.
“We want to stop streaking in the wrong direction, but we’re on the right path now,” said Kopitar, who had an assist in his return after missing five games with a hand/ wrist injury. “Just playing our style of hockey, that really helps.”
Lee tied it 4:27 into the third period. He was somehow able to collect and backhand in the rebound of Travis Hamonic’s missed shot while tangled up with Kings defenseman Matt Greene.
Lee added his third goal of the season with 1:52 left to make it 4-2, but the Islanders failed in their attempt to string together consecutive wins away from Barclays Center for the first time this season.
Martinez put the Kings ahead 15:34 into the first period with his fourth goal of the season, taking advantage of Lewis’ screen in front to beat Halak with a shot from the blue line.
Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, left, controls the puck against New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk, right, during the second period of Wednesday night’s game in Los Angeles.