Islanders winless in their last nine after 3-0 loss to Kings
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LOS ANGELES -- There aren't many more words to be said. On Saturday night against the Kings, the Islanders did what they've been doing for weeks now -- playing parts of a decent game, fumbling away good scoring chances and giving up goals when they shouldn't.
The 3-0 defeat was the Islanders' ninth straight loss in regulation on the road, matching a total not hit since the 1998-99 season. They are winless (0-7-2) in their last nine, six points away from seventh in the Metro Division and 10 points out of the last playoff spot.
The players kept the locker room door closed at the Staples Center for 10 minutes after the game, throwing the floor open to anyone who wanted to speak. "It was just guys talking, trying to talk some things out," Colin McDonald said. "We're just looking for anything to get us out of this."
Islanders owner Charles Wang was on hand, flying in to see his team play before attending the NHL's Board of Governors meeting Monday in San Jose. There are no indications from Wang or general manager Garth Snow that a coaching change is imminent, but something has to change for this team.
"It's a broken record right now," Matt Carkner said.
The Islanders started off playing a competitive game against one of the better teams in the Western Conference. The teams totaled only 13 first-period shots, the sort of opening 20 minutes a visiting team here would be happy with.
But the Islanders already were misfiring too much with their opportunities. Thomas Vanek could not pick a few nifty feeds out of his skates for shots, then passed up a first-period shot off a feed from John Tavares for a behind-the-back feed that went right to a Kings defender. Vanek, Tavares and Kyle Okposo each had one shot on goal despite four Islanders power plays.
"That top line has to realize they've got to shoot the puck a little more," Jack Capuano said. "They make those little plays around the net and those are going to work one out of every five times. I give them credit for working hard, they battle against the other team's top line, but our power play didn't do [squat] tonight, and that was the difference."
Anze Kopitar put the Kings up 12:08 into the second with a move to the slot -- avoiding Travis Hamonic's check attempt -- and a snap shot past Kevin Poulin. Josh Bailey hit the post on a shorthanded breakaway three minutes later, another golden chance for naught.
Los Angeles put the game away on Dustin Brown's wrap-around goal 10:37 into the third. Tyler Toffoli's empty-net goal with 1:04 to play sealed it, dropping the Islanders to 2-12-2 in their last 16 games.
The Islanders' woeful penalty kill was good and they held the Kings to 24 shots, but getting only 16 of their own on rookie Martin Jones clearly wasn't enough.
"I don't know. I really don't know," Poulin said of his team's struggles as most of the players sat in their uniforms after their closed-door talk. "Whatever we're doing, it's not good enough right now."