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New York Islanders Conclude California Trip with 3-2 Loss to Los Angeles Kings (Highlights)

The New York Islanders three-game road trip in California concluded with a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings as the offense goes quiet in big spots in another close contest.

New York Islanders 2 (2-3-1, 5 PTS)
Los Angeles Kings 3 (4-0-1, 9 PTS)
• NHL, Final, Box Score
• Staples Center, Los Angeles, California

It was a quick turnaround for the New York Islanders after a win on Saturday night over the Sharks. They concluded their tour through the state of California wrapping up the three-game west coast portion of the road trip against the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on Sunday night.

Head coach Doug Weight opted to keep the same forward and defensive pairs for the second straight game with Jaroslav Halak in goal. This meant another night without Ryan Pulock in the lineup as the young defenseman has yet to see game action this season. In addition to Pulock, Dennis Seidenberg and Anthony Beauvillier were also all scratched.

The Isles did not see Kings starting goaltender Jonathan Quick in this game after he played in last night’s 4-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. With no Quick in net, it was Darcy Kuemper in goal and making his Kings debut after spending parts of the past 5 seasons with the Minnesota Wild. It was also the first look at the Kings with new head coach John Stevens who took over from Darryl Sutter this summer.

Pace was the story of the first period as chances were coming from both teams including a couple of giveaways by the Islanders. Later in the period, for the fifth time in six games, it was the opponent scoring first as Anze Kopitar scored for the 4th time this season. The goal came at 12:45 of the opening period giving the Kings a 1-0 lead with assists from Drew Doughty and Dustin Brown. The shot by Kopitar was deflected in by Islanders defenseman Adam Pelech who was attempting to make a clearing attempt but instead went past his goaltender. The Kings outshot the Islanders 11-7 to start the game and couldn’t convert on the only power play of the period.

After a slow first, the Islanders came out of the intermission aggressive from the start of the second period and dominated play in the early parts of the period. A number of scoring chances early on coming close but nothing was working until just about the nine-minute mark. It was Josh Bailey who was doing work in front of the net throughout his shift and was the one to get a goal through in that stretch to get the game even at one.

It was the second goal of the season for Bailey and the assists were given to Andrew Ladd and Matthew Barzal. For Ladd, he earned his 500th career point and Barzal, he earned his first point in his NHL career on this goal. The lead did not last long as Jake Muzzin got the Kings the lead back on the power play for his first goal of the season. The Kings kept control of play late in the period after a slow start where the Islanders saw the majority of the control. The Islanders also had a power play as well and had chances to score but the struggles with the man advantage continue.

The third period began slowly, another Islanders power play and another non-conversion. A Josh Ho-Sang turnover on the man advantage led to a shorthanded goal from Drew Doughty. This was his 2nd goal of the season and extended the Kings lead to 3-1. The Islanders did not let a two-goal lead affect the play in the rest of the game as Casey Cizikas cut the lead back to a goal by scoring his 3rd of the season at the 14:20 mark. The Islanders had multiple chances over the last three minutes to get the game tied but couldn’t extend it as they fall to the Kings by the final of 3-2.

The Islanders finished in California with a record of 1-2 as they prepare to head back east. The road trip concludes on Thursday at Madison Square Garden against the Rangers before returning home next weekend. Head Coach Doug Weight will have a few days to regroup from the week and those potential lineup changes could be in place this week. This team has not been able to click on offense in big spots as they lose another close contest.

John Santamaria joins as a writer in March 2017. He is a graduate of New York Institute of Technology with an M.A. and B.F.A. in Communication Arts. John currently is a Technology teacher and prior to that was employed at MLB Advanced Media and CBS Sports Network. He also works as a Public Address Announcer for various colleges including his alma mater NYIT. John is a lifelong sports fan rooting for the Mets, Islanders, Jets, and Knicks.