The Islanders could not remedy their recent slump Saturday night, as they fell 3-0 to the Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center.
The Kings stingy defense frustrated the Islanders, as the offense generated a season-low 16 shots on Kings rookie netminder Martin Jones.
“We didn’t do enough to create a lot of chances,” Josh Bailey said. “We had 16 shots and you’re not going to win many games with 16 shots.”
Anze Kopitar scored the eventual winner at 12:08 of the second period, while Dustin Brown scored an insurance marker and Tyler Toffoli added an empty netter. The loss was the Islanders second against the Kings this season and the second on their current five-game Western road trip.
While the offense was stymied, the Isles penalty kill was aggressive in killing off all five Kings power plays. The penalty killers drew penalties to negate the Kings advantage twice and also generated several quality scoring chances. Bailey had the Isles best shorthanded chance, a clear breakaway 15 minutes into the second period, but his backhand found iron.
“The Bailey chance shorthanded would have put us right back in the game,” head coach Jack Capuano sad. “But it didn’t have eyes (for the net).”
Kopitar opened the scoring with his 501st career point, driving wide before cutting into the slot and ripping a shot top corner on Kevin Poulin. After scoring the go-ahead goal, the Kings tightened up defensively, holding the Islanders to five shots in the third period.
“It was tough,” Kyle Okposo said. “It wasn’t an easy game to play in. They played their system well tonight. At the end of the day we have to find a way to win because this is unacceptable.”
Capuano gave the Islanders back-end a different look Saturday night, splitting up Andrew MacDonald and Travis Hamonic. The longtime duo had new partners as Hamonic played with Calvin de Haan and MacDonald paired with Thomas Hickey.
“Our guys on the back end played pretty well,” he said. “The bottom line was their best players were their best players tonight and came up big for them.”
The Islanders will stay in southern California for the rest of the weekend, as their next game is Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Honda Center. Puck drop is at 10:00 p.m. eastern time.
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