By Jason Lockhart
Penalties hurt the Islanders Tuesday night against Los Angeles at the Staples Center, as the Kings scored twice on the power play and twice 4-on-4 and came away with a 4-2 win. The Islanders gave the Kings 12 power play opportunities.
Jason Blake had the best chance to tie the game late when he hit the post on a breakaway with just under two minutes remaining in the third period. That could have made it 3-3, but it was not to be, as Dan Cloutier stopped 23 shots for his second win of the season.
The Islanders got on the board first on Richard Park's first goal as an Islander. Blake forechecked and got the puck behind the net to Shawn Bates, who dished it out in front. Park squeaked a high shot on the near side past Cloutier for a 1-0 Islanders lead just 1:16 into the game.
Michael Cammelleri made it 1-1 on a snapshot while playing 4-on-4, at 9:47 of the first period. Tom Kostopoulos made it 2-1 Los Angeles after gathering a rebound in front, off a point shot from Brent Sopel with 2:24 left in the first period.
The Islanders started the period as they ended, by scoring. Alexei Yashin fired a slapshot through Cloutier's five-hole with 38 seconds left in the first on another 4-on-4 situation to make it 2-2. Viktor Kozlov and Alexei Zhitnik picked up the assists.
With just over five seconds left in the second period, Sopel put the Kings up by one on a one-timed shot from the point high over DiPietro's glove on the power play.
Blake nearly tied the game as he picked up a perfect feed from Kozlov and wristed it past Cloutier high to the glove side, but it bounced off the post and crossbar and stayed out with less than two minutes left in the third period.
The Kings made it 4-2 on the power play as three Islanders were caught up ice trying to get the equalizer. Alexander Frolov finished off a two-on-zero down low with 17 seconds left in the third period.
Five Stars of the Game:
1. Michael Cammalleri: Created chances on the power play and scored 4-on-4.
2. Brent Sopel: A goal and an assist.
3. Alexei Yashin: One goal on eight shots.
4. Richard Park: Scored first goal as an Islander and effective on the penalty kill.
5. Tom Kostopoulos: Contributed offensively while playing on the fourth line.
Stat of the Game: Kings 2 for 12 on the power play.
Slapshots: Jeff Tambellini (healthy), Joel Bouchard (hamstring) and Chris Campoli (groin) were tonight's scratches Jason Blake scored a goal in his NHL debut as a King on April 18, 1999 vs. St. Louis Richard Park grew up in southern California after moving from Seoul, South Korea at the age of three Alexei Zhitnik turned 34 today.
1 Mike Dunham
39 Rick DiPietro
77 Alexei Zhitnik - 6 Sean Hill
32 Brendan Witt 24 Radek Martinek
8 Bruno Gervais 3 Tom Poti
11 Andy Hilbert - 79 Alexei Yashin - 25 Viktor Kozlov
55 Jason Blake - 17 Shawn Bates - 10 Richard Park
7 Trent Hunter - 18 Mike Sillinger - 81 Miroslav Satan
12 Chris Simon - 16 Mike York - 45 Arron Asham
31 Mathieu Garon
39 Dan Cloutier
17 Lubomir Visnovsky - 4 Rob Blake
3 Aaron Miller - 28 Oleg Tverdovsky
14 Mattias Norstrom - 5 Brent Sopel
23 Dustin Brown - 11 Anze Kopitar - 24 Alexander Frolov
7 Derek Armstrong - 19 Sean Avery - 13 Michael Cammalleri
27 Scott Thornton - 22 Craig Conroy - 21 Brian Willsie
41 Raitis Ivanans - 12 Patrick O'Sullivan - 29 Tom Kostopoulos