The New York Islanders will be working a new points streak when their California tour takes them to Los Angeles to face the Kings on Wednesday.
The Islanders’ franchise-record 17-game points streak came to an end Monday night in a 3-0 defeat in Anaheim against the Ducks.
With the points run slowly slipping from their grasp, the Islanders finally had to bid farewell, but not before a strong early push in an attempt to gain an early lead Monday.
The Islanders outshot the Ducks 16-5 in the first period, but couldn’t get the puck past goaltender John Gibson, who was up to the task with 26 saves in his first shutout of the season.
The warning signs had been coming. The Islanders went to overtime in each of their previous four games in the streak and lost in the extra period Saturday against the San Jose Sharks.
“Guys have committed a lot over a long time and we’ve won in different ways,” Islanders head coach Barry Trotz said. “It’s just reality. We didn’t play well enough to deserve to win. I think our guys are good enough pros to understand that. I’m not gonna kick cans or anything like that.”
The Islanders are getting things done with a team approach as opposed to unleashing a cluster of superstars. Mathew Barzal led the charge during the team streak with 19 points, including nine goals. Brock Nelson had six goals and 10 assists, including three game-winning goals.
The Islanders’ previous loss in regulation before Monday was Oct. 11 against the Carolina Panthers. That was just the fourth game of the season. If anything, New York has shown it has what it takes to bounce back after a setback.
But despite all of the recent success, the Islanders have lost consecutive games in their three-game trip to California. The Islanders have just one goal in those two games.
A matchup against the Kings is just what a team in need of goals likes to see. Los Angeles has given up 3.46 goals per game, which was fourth-worst in the NHL at the start of play Tuesday.
The Kings have lost three of their last four games (1-2-1) and will enter off a 4-3 overtime loss to the Sharks on Monday. The Kings have lost consecutive games at home after a convincing 5-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
The Kings will be without defenseman Alec Martinez, who needed surgery to repair a laceration on his right wrist. Martinez went to the ice to swat away a loose puck in the third period Monday when he was inadvertently cut by the skate of the Sharks’ Melker Karlsson.
The Kings received goals from Adrian Kempe, Dustin Brown and Anze Kopitar on Monday, with Kopitar’s goal at 12:52 of the third period forcing overtime after the Kings had trailed 3-0. Kings coach Todd McLellan was particularly pleased with Kempe, who scored his third of the season and assisted on Kopitar’s score.
“Boy, if that’s the player that exists, and he’s there all the time, that’s a pretty darn good NHL player,” McLellan said, according to NHL.com. “Now we’re going to encourage him to bring that night after night. I know not everybody has their best all the time, but that was a (heck) of a night for him, and starting to see some real good things from him.”
–Field Level Media