Lowly Islanders Head To L.A. To Face The Kings

The New York Islanders continue their western road trip tonight with a stop in Los Angeles to face the Kings, still searching for their first regulation win after the last 11 games played.

The Islanders will still be without Evgeni Nabokov tonight, as Kevin Poulin is slated to start between the pipes. At the other end of the ice will likely be Ben Scrivens, who has taken over for Jonathan Quick after he went down due to injury. Scrivens has played exceptionally well, helping keep his team in the top three of the Pacific Division and 5th in the Western Conference.

On the other hand, the Islanders' struggles have continued with neither Poulin or Anders Nilsson making it easy for head coach Jack Capuano to decide who will start in goal on a given basis.

Peter Regin will be a healthy scratch tonight with Brock Nelson in the line-up. This should appease a few Isles fans as Regin's lack of production and terrible face-off percentage has not exactly proven to be a beneficial addition to the line-up.

Nelson hasn't exactly been a glimmer of hope this season, but he has contributed in various ways. He's found the back of the net on the man-advantage, played on the top line with John Tavares and is a rookie still learning the ropes of the NHL game, making him appear to be the more logical choice to play the third line center role.

Although it has not yet been confirmed, it appears the other lines and D-pairings will remain the same, meaning Calvin de Haan will continue to play on the Isles' blue line. de Haan has not looked out of place and has been a reliable, young defenseman on an otherwise shaky defense.

Speaking of defense, Andrew MacDonald is riding a three-game point streak going into tonight's game (one goal and two assists). Kyle Okposo has one going for him as well, scoring two goals and two assists in the same amount of time.

Once again the Isles will be facing an uphill battle against a physical and talented opponent in the L.A. Kings. Tonight's game comes just a day after it was announced from various sources online that the Islanders might be targeting former Isles head coach Peter Laviolette to replace Jack Capuano.

It is hard to argue that this disappointing season falls entirely on the shoulders of Capuano, but the alarming concern that a shake-up is needed for this team continues to grow on a nightly basis.

It seems as if the Islanders might have to find a way to start winning some hockey games if they do not want to see their head coach get the axe from behind the bench.

Puck drop is tonight at 10:30 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

-Rob McGowan

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