It was a quick layover yesterday as the Islanders stepped foot on US soil for the first time since they left on Saturday, Sept. 12 for Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to embark on their 2009 Training Camp. The plane touched down in Kansas City to drop off tonight's game squad then continued on its way back to Long Island with the rest of the team. Tonight, the Islanders, featuring Josh Bailey and Dwayne Roloson, will take the ice against the Los Angeles Kings in pursuit of their third victory of the preseason.
The Islanders are coming off a 3-1 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. Radek Martinek opened the scoring with his first goal of the preseason, stepping around an Oiler defenseman and depositing the puck into the net over the shoulder of Edmonton starting goalie Devan Dubnyk. Jeff Tambellini and Martinek’s defense partner, Brendan Witt had the assists on the game’s first tally. Sophomore center-man, Josh Bailey upped the Islander lead to 2-0 when he shoveled a rebound off a Blake Comeau shot past the right pad of Dubnyk for his first marker of the preseason. Former King forward, Matt Moulson has been one of the hottest Islanders this preseason and he continued that trend, scoring his third tally of the preseason. John Tavares collected his first professional point on the goal to give the Islanders a 3-0 lead. The Oilers one tack on a goal later in the middle frame but Islander goalie, Martin Biron would keep Edmonton at bay the rest of the way to earn the win.
Brayden Schenn, Los Angeles' number 1 draft pick, scored his first two goals of the preseason and Ryan Smyth also had a goal to lead the Kings to a 4-1 victory over the Anaheim Ducks on Saturday night. Rookie Jonathan Bernier made 19 saves after being staked to a 3-0 lead. Schenn opened the scoring on a power play at 4:10 of the first period, getting a centering pass from Jack Johnson and converting his own rebound while Saku Koivu was serving a hooking penalty. Smyth, who was acquired from Colorado on July 3 in a trade that sent defensemen Kyle Quincey and Tom Preissing to the Avalanche, scored the Kings' second goal. He carried the puck through the right circle with Anaheim defenseman Ryan Whitney trailing the play and jammed the puck past Jonas Hiller at 10:36 of the second period. Less than 5 minutes later, defenseman Thomas Hickey came into the Anaheim zone and faked a slap shot at the top of the right circle before sliding a cross-ice pass to Schenn, who beat Hiller high to the glove side with a short wrist shot. The Ducks got on the board 32 seconds before the second intermission as Teemu Selanne set up Anaheim’s only tally coming off the stick of Koivu for a power-play goal while Kings defenseman Alec Martinez was off for holding. Anze Kopitar scored an empty-net goal for the Kings with 15 seconds remaining.
Big Three on D: Expect Los Angeles defensemen Rob Scuderi, Matt Greene and Sean O’Donnell to be in the Kings lineup tonight. The three defensemen average a size of 6’3, 225 pounds and will serve as a serious roadblock for the Islander forwards hoping to drive to the net. Scuderi, a Syosset, NY native, joined the Kings this offseason after playing in Pittsburgh the past five years.
Brotherly Love: Brothers Brett and Kevin Westgarth had been teammates several years ago when the Amherst, Ontario natives skated for the Princeton Tigers. Since then, the two have gone their separate ways but have still stayed close. Islander defenseman, Brett Westgarth played for the within the San Jose Sharks organization for their American Hockey League affiliate in Worcester while Kevin was with Los Angeles’ AHL affiliate in Manchester. Both are scheduled to dress for their respective teams tonight.
‘Toon Town Roots: Although the Islanders left Saskatoon yesterday, the Kings have a ‘Toon Town native in their first round draft pick this past summer, Braydon Schenn. Schenn scored his first two goals of the preseason, the first of which came on a power play to give the Kings an early 1-0 in the first period against the Anaheim Ducks, Saturday night. The Kings went on to win the game 4-1.
Simmering Hot: Jon Sim has been one of the most consistent forwards the Islanders have had through their first five games of the 2009 preseason. The winger entering his third season in the organization has three points in two games (2 goals & 1 assist). Sim is set to play on a line with Greg Moore and Jesse Joensuu tonight.