Not So Perfect 10 for Islanders in 5-1 loss to King’s
New York, NY - Normally the number 10 is reserved for perfection. Sadly for the Islanders (4-10-3) and their fans the number 10 is representing imperfection as the Islanders dropped their 10th straight in the 5-1 to the Los Angeles King’s (12-3-0) on Saturday night hockey action.
It was a difficult test for the Islanders who were only playing with five defensive players as Jack Hillen left the morning skate early for New York. Hillen who was ill left the Islanders bench short handed and Los Angeles was able to cash in as the King’s were able to net two early goals on the power of Anze Kopitar who cashed in on two second chance shots for the early 2-0 lead. Along with giving the Los Angles the lead Kopitar also recorded his 17th career two-goal game in his performance on Saturday night.
Shortly after the King’s took the lead head coach Scott Gordon took a time out to try to rally his troops. It seemed to work as Rob Schremp cut into the Los Angeles lead at the 5:39 mark. In what was a gritty effort by both Doug Weight and James Wisniewski who both worked hard to get the puck to Schremp who netted his first goal of the 2010-11 season, while cutting into the Los Angeles lead making the score 2-1.
In what was a scary moment for King’s fans Anze Kopitar looks injured heads to the LA bench. As the center fell on his left elbow trying to drive into the Islanders zone trying to net an early hat trick. Thankfully for the fans in attendance Kopitar was okay and made his way back into the game.
Justin Williams made the score 3-1 in favor of the King’s at the 3:15 mark as another grind it out play lead to a Los Angeles goal. Williams took a second chance puck into the top shelf for a nine-game scoring streak. The Islanders had a flurry of shots at the 4:39 mark on the scoreboard as Matt Moulson, Michael Grabner and John Tavares all tried to cut into the King’s lead in the frame but none of the Islanders could not cash in.
Dustin Brown made a tremendous move in the third period of play and was pushed into the net by the Islanders defense. Brown who was awarded with a penalty shot and was able to cash in. Brown who make four very nice fakes to put the puck in the five hole of Roloson at the 7:46 mark to give Los Angeles the 4-1 lead. In an impressive display of passing the puck made its way to Drew Doughty, who netted a power play goal pad the Los Angeles lead to 5-1, and the eventual victory.
In what was a very physical game between two teams with several scuffles, as two fights did eventually break out in the third period. Much like the game the King’s were even able to be victorious in their fights, as the two teams stayed competitive and dished out hard hits until the end of the horn.
Meanwhile Los Angeles looked loose on the ice all game long making very nifty plays in their offensive zone, players passing the puck to themselves. Nice backhanded shots, in between the leg shots. Los Angeles playing like a top team in the NHL.
For the Islanders they had numerous turnovers which did not help their chance of snapping this 10 game losing streak. That combined with missing power play opportunities and being out shot and out hit by a very good King’s squad, extended this imperfect streak. What also is not helping the Islanders is the fact that they are getting angry later on in the game. If the Islanders can get angry and play gritty early in the game they will probably be able to find success in their games.
In the cage for the King’s Jonathan Quick was impressive making 18 saves in the victory. One of Quick’s most impressive saves was with 6:56 on the scoreboard when Moulson had a backhanded shot that the King’s keeper was able to stop.
On the other side Dwayne Roloson was again solid making 29 saves. Roloson was able to hold the King’s for a very good period of time, sadly though the Islanders could not cash in on anything offensively. Also not helping in their own defensive zone as the team skated away with another tough loss.
The Islanders will return back to Long Island to host the Tampa Bay Lightning for a Wednesday 7:00 p.m. face-off. Fans will get an opportunity to watch Lightning potential rookie-of-the year candidate Steven Stamkos take the ice on Long Island for the first time.