Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey, left, reacts after scoring...

Anaheim Ducks left wing Matt Beleskey, left, reacts after scoring while New York Islanders defenseman Calvin de Haan reacts after a stick to the face during the second period of an NHL game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Credit: AP

A few thoughts after a late Wednesday night in Anaheim:

Coach Jack Capuano noted that as word got to the Islanders about an hour before game time that Ducks stars Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry were out with the flu, this could have been a worrisome development.

"We knew they'd play even harder without those guys," Capuano said. That was true, even though it took 30 minutes to be so.

The Islanders played a forceful game in the first half of the contest, getting pucks on Jason LaBarbera and keeping the Ducks from crashing Jaroslav Halak's net. John Tavares' first goal was a result of simply throwing rubber on an untested goaltender, and the Isles held a 19-6 shot edge when Thomas Hickey went to the penalty box at 7:21 of the second.

Why did things change?

That darned penalty kill. It was spotless for just about 1:40, but when a shot broke Travis Hamonic's stick, the breakdowns came. Hamonic yelled for Cal Clutterbuck's stick. Clutterbuck went to hand it off just as defenseman Sami Vatanen got the puck at center point. Vatanen fed Ryan Kesler, who had Calvin de Haan on him.

Hamonic was just turning back to his spot on Matt Beleskey when Kesler's short feed went off Beleskey's unguarded stick and in. That turned it all around.

So the Islanders' PK now sits at 63.9 percent, 13 goals allowed in 36 times shorthanded. What's even more galling is the 36 times short is fourth-lowest in the league. As Frans Nielsen pointed out pregame Wednesday, "If we had just an average PK, we'd have two or three more wins."

Powerful power play

But the power play showed up strong Wednesday night, and the best thing for the Islanders was that neither of their power-play goals was a thing of beauty. Kyle Okposo's shot sure was, but it came off a Brock Nelson entry along the wall that was messy.

And Tavares' game-winner was a simple "let's see what this does" toss through traffic that had eyes.

The 11-for-47 power play (23.4 percent) is tied for sixth in the NHL. So yes, if the Isles can get the PK above 75 percent, with the way they've played five-on-five and on the power play, they can be better without much else changing.

Lineup changes?

Capuano hinted at another lineup change for Thursday night against the Kings. Casey Cizikas will go back in for certain. Don't be too sure that Eric Boulton comes out. Boulton did what he was supposed to in his 7:48 of ice time: Hit a few guys, throw a few pucks on net, get off the ice.

Cory Conacher might be the one to take a seat. He was too jittery Wednesday night and threw a blind pass into the slot in the third period that nearly gave the game away.

If Cizikas is back and Conacher is out -- or even if it's Boulton -- Ryan Strome likely will return to a right wing spot alongside Nelson. Strome was basically a rover Wednesday night, taking half his shifts between Matt Martin and Boulton and half spotting into other lines. He was good, too, getting PP and PK time.

It also wouldn't surprise me to see the kid line of Nelson, Strome and Anders Lee reunited. Lee had a bang-up first two games after his recall, but he's not been fitting in so well in the jumbled lines night to night. He does go right to the net still, but he's fumbled away a few pucks in scoring areas and went offsides four times playing with Nielsen and Mikhail Grabovski on Wednesday.

No expectations on a goaltender Thursday. Halak, who made 32 saves in his second straight quality start, said he's ready for a back-to-back, but with the Coyotes looming on Saturday, it wouldn't surprise me to see Chad Johnson against the Kings.