(SportsNetwork.com) – The Los Angeles Kings seek to bounce back from a rough
road trip as they return to the Staples Center on Thursday night to take on
the New York Islanders.
The Kings ripped off a perfect six-game homestand before hitting the road for
five straight. They ended up getting outscored 14-6 in losing the first four
contests of the swing, one in overtime, before salvaging the finale on Tuesday
with a 3-1 win over the Dallas Stars.
Dustin Brown netted the go-ahead tally early in the third period and Jonathan
Quick made 33 saves for a Kings club that is 6-1-0 at home compared to 1-3-2
on the road.
Trevor Lewis (short-handed) and Kyle Clifford also lit the lamp for the Kings.
“I thought our forecheck was a lot better tonight,” said Brown. “As a result,
we scored more goals.”
Forward Justin Williams won’t play tonight after suffering a facial injury on
Tuesday. Williams was struck under his face shield by the blade of Stars
defenseman Brenden Dillon’s stick.
Williams is day-to-day as he got some stitches above his eyelid, but
thankfully avoided a series eye injury.
The Kings are set to play two straight and six of their next seven at home.
They swept their two-game set with the Islanders last season and have won
eight of the past 10 meetings overall while taking four in a row as the host.
Quick is 4-1-1 with a 1.64 goals against average and .932 save percentage in
six meetings with New York.
The Islanders will try to build off of last night’s big 3-2 win over the
Anaheim Ducks, made possible when John Tavares scored his second goal of the
game 2:18 into overtime.
The Islanders went on a power play in the extra session after Anaheim’s Sami
Vatanen elbowed Calvin de Haan, and Tavares fired a wrist shot along the ice
from the high slot that deflected in off the right pad of Jason LaBarbera.
Kyle Okposo also scored a power-play goal and Jaroslav Halak made 32 saves for
the Islanders, who snapped a three-game losing streak that included defeats in
Colorado and San Jose that opened this five-game road trip.
New York, which ends its trip on Saturday in Arizona, rebounded against a
Ducks team missing both Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry due to flu-like symptoms
and after blowing a 2-0 lead. Anaheim got a power-play goal at 9:15 of the
second period and another tally with 1:09 left in the frame.
“I thought we were really dictating the play until we gave up that power-play
goal,” said Islanders head coach Jack Capuano.
Halak snapped a personal four-game skid with his first victory since Oct. 16
and it is unknown if he will start again tonight or if backup Chad Johnson
will get the call to face the Kings for the first time in his career.
Halak is 6-6-2 with a 2.37 GAA and .915 save percentage with two shutouts in
14 games against Los Angeles.