The Islanders had goals from Andy Sutton and Josh Bailey but it was not enough as the Los Angeles Kings defeated the Islanders by the score of 4-2. Nathan Lawson started in net for his second game in the preseason and made 21 saves on 25 shots. The Kings received goals from Teddy Purcell, Drew Doughty and two tallies from Wayne Simmonds. The Islanders drop to 2-3-1 in the preseason while the Kings improve to 3-1-1.
The Kings broke the scoreless tie, 8:33 into the first period while on the power-play. Los Angeles defenseman Thomas Hickey rimmed a dump-in around to the right wing half-wall to Jarret Stoll. As the play settled in the Islanders’ defensive zone, Stoll whipped a cross-ice pass to Purcell in the far circle where he snapped a shot past Lawson’s blocker for the 1-0 Kings lead. Sutton would tie the score three minutes later completing a perfect back-door pass from Trent Hunter. Jeff Tambellini fed the puck from the far corner to Hunter who sent a no-look pass to Sutton cutting to the back-post. The 6’6 defenseman snapped the one-time pass through the legs of Kings’ starting goalie Jonathan Quick, tying the score at one.
Special teams were the story for Los Angeles in the second period. It started with Kings’ forward, Kevin Westgarth off on a four-minute penalty. Wayne Simmonds killing the Islanders’ man-advantage, would tally his third goal of the preseason on a great individual effort, snapping a shot on Islanders’ goalie Nathan Lawson and cashing in on the rebound. Davis Drewiske and Joe Piskula had the assists on the short-handed goal to regain the one-goal lead for Los Angeles at 2-1. Three minutes later, while on their own man-advantage, the Kings would take their first two-goal lead on a goal from sophomore defenseman, Drew Doughty. Alexander Frolov and Purcell had the assists on Doughty’s first marker of the preseason.
Bailey and the Islanders would cut the Kings’ lead to 3-2 within the first minute of play in the third period. Tambellini dug the puck out of the right corner and fed Bailey cutting through the slot. Bailey walked in and ripped a shot on Quick who made a blocker save. As Quick made the initial save, Bailey drove the net, dancing around a defenseman just as the rebound fell to the ice for Bailey to jam it in past the left post. Tony Romano had the second assist on the play. The Islanders could not find the equalizer and Los Angeles would seal the victory with an empty-net goal from Simmonds with 15 seconds remaining in the regulation time to close the game's scoring at 4-2 Los Angeles.
The Islanders will face-off against the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night at the Nassau Coliseum at 7 p.m. Islanders 2009 first round draft pick, John Tavares is expected to make his Coliseum debut. For tickets or information, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501- 6700 or visit islanders.nhl.com.
1. Teddy Purcell – Scores a goal and an assist
2. Jeff Tambellini – Assists on both Islander tallies
3. Wayne Simmonds – Scores twice and gets into a fight
Honorable Mention: Trent Hunter – Set up Sutton’s first period goal on a pretty no-look pass
Brief Description: The Sprint Center is definitely a site to see. The center-hung scoreboard has four levels to it, with the third level serving as the main board for game action and replays. The dressing rooms for both the home and visiting teams are immaculate. Several players were saying that it could fit a football team, let alone a 22-man hockey team. Even though this was technically a home game for the Kings, neither team’s logo was placed under the center ice circle. There are two suite levels that separate the upper and lower bowl seating. In the press box, there is an entire level at the top of the upper bowl for media. If for any reason the media missed a play, they do not have to worry, there are six big screen flat televisions that hang from the rafters that display the live and replay feeds. Looking at what the Sprint Center has done in Kansas City, one can only imagine the renderings that Islanders Owner Charles Wang and his redevelopment group have in mind for the Nassau Coliseum.
What Happens in Vegas: The Islanders will return home tonight to join the rest of their team as they take on the New Jersey Devils tomorrow night at the Nassau Coliseum. For Los Angeles, they will travel to Colorado to take on the Avalanche tomorrow night. After that, they will play their annual exhibition game in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday against Colorado. The tradition of the Kings traveling to Las Vegas to play a game began in 1991 when they took on the New York Rangers and ever since 1997, they have not missed a preseason stop in Sin City.
Connections to K.C.: Islanders Head of Pro Scouting, Ken Morrow calls Kansas City home. The former Islander defenseman moved to the area when he began coaching in 1990-91 with the Kansas City Blades.
All-Stars: Both Islander forward Jeff Tambellini and Kings’ forward Teddy Purcell skated in the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic in Binghamton and both had career years throughout the 2007-08 season. Click on the “All-Stars” link to view Tambellini Mic’D Up during the occasion as he has several exchanges with the Kings’ forward.
58 Jesse Joensuu – 27 Greg Moore – 16 Jon Sim
46 Matt Martin – 12 Josh Bailey – 7 Trent Hunter
15 Jeff Tambellini – 11 Nate Thompson – 28 Tim Jackman
59 Micheal Haley – 54 Tony Romano – 45 Tyler Haskins
56 Dustin Kohn – 8 Bruno Gervais
25 Andy Sutton – 44 Freddy Meyer
38 Jack Hillen – 42 Brett Westgarth
52 Nathan Lawson
30 Dwayne Roloson
24 Alexander Frolov – 28 Michael Handzus – 13 John Zeiler
61 Trevor Lewis – 28 Jarret Stoll – 54 Teddy Purcell
5 Peter Harrold – 15 Brad Richardson – 56 Richard Clune
33 Kevin Westgarth – 67 Marc-Andre Cliché – 41 Raitis Ivanans
6 Sean O’Donnell – 8 Drew Doughty
37 Thomas Hickey – 43 Joe Piskula
44 Davis Drewiske – 53 Alec Martinez
32 Jonathan Quick
31 Erik Ersberg