Coming Into the Game
- We will see how the response will be for the Los Angeles Kings from the trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Kings lose fan favorite depth winger Kyle Clifford and goalie Jack Campbell in the trade. In return, they acquired Southern California native Trevor Moore and a couple draft picks. An en vogue term in sports these days is “load management”, so Moore will not suit up for this game for that reason. With the last couple games he played with Toronto, and the Kings next couple games after tonight’s game on the current road trip, Moore would have been in line to play five games in seven days.
- The first couple responses for the Kings is the call-up of goalie Cal Petersen from the Ontario Reign, to serve as Jonathan Quick’s backup for the game; Nikolai Prokhorkin takes Clifford’s place on the fourth line at wing, having served as a healthy scratch after the last few games.
- Since the start of the calendar year, the Los Angeles Kings are tied for the fewest points in the standings.
- The New York Islanders are coming off an overtime win against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday night. They currently occupy the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
- The Islanders top center is Mathew Barzal, the 2020 Fastest Skater winner from the NHL All-Star Game. Thomas Greiss draws the start for the New York Islanders/
On to the Game
The game started off fairly even up until halfway into the first period. Los Angeles did well early in minimizing any dangerous scoring chances, prompting Quick to make relatively routine saves. Los Angeles wound up taking a 2-0 lead in the first, taking that lead into the first intermission.
Scoring the first goal of the game, defenseman Ben Hutton joined the play late after a zone entry by Adrian Kempe, scoring his third goal of the season:
Alex Iafallo doubled the lead for his 15th goal of the season, after a puck misplay by Islanders center Brock Nelson:
However, as good teams do, the Islanders would find a way to make a game out of it. Islanders left wing Michael Dal Colle put New York on the board after a Johnny Boychuk point shot deflected into the net off of him:
Trevor Lewis re-established the Kings’ 2-goal lead off of a feed from Michael Amadio, after Ben Hutton intercepted New York’s clearing attempt:
From the halfway point of the game onward, the New York Islanders came storming back. First, it was Kieffer Bellows, scoring his first career NHL goal to put the score at 3-2 for the Kings, after his linemate Anthony Beauvillier found him all alone for the wide open net:
New York tied the score early in the third period after Matt Martin pounced on a rebound of a Devon Toews point shot:
For the rest of the third period, Los Angeles had much difficulty slowing down the Islanders in the neutral zone, as New York generated many scoring chances. Jonathan Quick stood tall in net, and kept the game tied. However, the game turned further as Islanders center Casey Cizikas engaged with both members of the Kings top defensive pair, Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez. He started the rough stuff with Doughty, to which Martinez started jawing with him. Cizikas and Martinez drew fighting majors, and Doughty was oddly assessed a roughing penalty. New York scored the go-ahead goal with the Kings top defensemen in the box.
The New York Islanders added an empty net goal late. As trying as this season has been for the Los Angeles Kings and their fans, this was the first game where they did not earn any standings points when going into the third period with a lead.
Saturday at 4 PM PST at New Jersey Devils.