Matt Moulson’s goal with less than two minutes to play in regulation time tightened the Los Angeles Kings’ lead to one goal but the Islanders could not find the equalizer as the Kings took a 2-1 victory this afternoon at the Nassau Coliseum. Anze Kopitar opened the scoring for Los Angeles in the second period, tying him for the team lead with four. Drew Doughty would blast the game-winner past Islanders’ starting goalie Martin Biron early in the third.
Through the first period of play, the Islanders and Kings were unable to crack the scoreless tie. The Islanders carried the pressure, outshooting Los Angeles by a count of 11 to four. Blake Comeau and Tim Jackman were all over the ice, throwing several body checks, opening scoring opportunities for their line-mates.
The line combination of the Kyle Okposo, John Tavares and Matt Moulson carried the Islanders in the second period, but were unable to convert on several great scoring chances. Tavares had the Islanders best scoring opportunity as he came off the bench to join his line. Okposo made a move out of the far corner and attempted a centering pass to Tavares. A split second off, Tavares could not position himself to get a shot off and give the Islanders the 1-0 lead. Instead, the Kings would capitalize on a power-play chance deep in the Islanders’ zone to break the 0-0 tie. Los Angeles winger Justin Williams faked a shot and slid a pass to Kopitar who skated off the goal line for a better shooting angle and ripped a shot over the blocker side of Islanders’ starting goalie, Martin Biron, for the 1-0 Los Angeles lead. Ryan Smyth also had an assist on the goal.
Doughty would double the Kings’ lead, five minutes into the third period with his second goal of the season. Jarret Stoll sent a cross-ice pass to Doughty at the right point where the Kings’ defenseman took two strides and leaned into a shot that also snuck past Biron’s blocker for the 2-0 Los Angeles lead. Teddy Purcell had the assist on the goal.
The Islanders made it a one-goal game late in the third period on Moulson’s second of the season. Mark Streit snapped a quick pass to Okposo between the hash-marks that Okposo spun on net. Moulson was in front screening Kings’ goalie Jonathan Quick who made the save on Okposo’s shot but could not grab the rebound. Moulson grabbed the loose puck and slid it through Quick’s legs to make the score 2-1 in favor of the Kings with 1:55 remaining in the game.
The Islanders will travel to Buffalo Thursday in preparation for their game on Friday against the Sabres at 7 p.m. The following night, the Islanders will return to the Nassau Coliseum to take on the San Jose Sharks for the one and only time this season. For tickets or information on any upcoming Islander game, contact the team’s front office at (516) 501-6700 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Jonathan Quick – Stops all but one shot coming off the stick of his former teammate, Matt Moulson
2. Drew Doughty – Scores the game-winner in the third period
3. Matt Moulson – Breaks Quick’s shutout bid late in the third period with his second goal of the season
Honorable Mention: Anze Kopitar – Scores a pretty goal on a shot over the shoulder of Biron
Boo Birds: The boo birds were out in full force today as they “welcomed” former Islander Ryan Smyth back into the Nassau Coliseum. After he was acquired at the end of the 2006-07 season, Smyth left Long Island in favor of the Colorado Avalanche.
Kids Opening Day: About 15 mascots from around the NHL and local area were at today’s game supporting Kids Opening Day. Thrasher from the Atlanta Thrashers, N.J. Devil from the New Jersey Devils, and Storm from the Bridgeport Sound Tigers were just a few of the friendly guests in the crowd today.
Coming Home: Rob Scuderi returns to Long Island for the first time as a Los Angeles King. The Syosset, NY native won the first Stanley Cup Championship of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins last season. He spoke prior to the game about how the traffic in Los Angeles compares some what to Long Island, it just depends on when you choose to battle the cars and if you luck out on certain highways.
26 Matt Moulson – 91 John Tavares – 21 Kyle Okposo
13 Rob Schremp – 93 Doug Weight – 16 Jon Sim
20 Sean Bergenheim – 12 Josh Bailey – 57 Blake Comeau
28 Tim Jackman – 10 Richard Park – 40 Joel Rechlicz
32 Brendan Witt – 8 Bruno Gervais
2 Mark Streit – 24 Radek Martinek
44 Freddy Meyer – 25 Andy Sutton
43 Martin Biron (starter)
30 Dwayne Roloson
Forwards 94 Ryan Smyth – 11 Anze Kopitar – 14 Justin Williams
23 Dustin Brown – 28 Jarrett Stoll – 54 Teddy Purcell
24 Alexander Frolov – 26 Michal Handzus – 17 Wayne Simmonds
5 Peter Harrold – 15 Brad Richardson – 41 Raitis Ivanans
Defensemen 7 Rob Scuderi – 3 Jack Johnson
6 Sean O’Donnell – 8 Drew Daughty
44 Davis Drewiske – 2 Matt Greene
Goalies 32 Jonathan Quick (starter)
31 Erik Ersberg