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Islanders score seven goals in team effort, beat Kings to snap two-game skid

Islanders center Valtteri Filppula, center, celebrates his goal

Islanders center Valtteri Filppula, center, celebrates his goal with the bench as Los Angeles Kings left wing Tanner Pearson looks away in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 in Los Angeles.  Credit: AP/Kyusung Gong

LOS ANGELES — The goals are expected to come from the likes of Mathew Barzal, Jordan Eberle, Josh Bailey and their fellow top-six linemates. But the Islanders’ bottom six has been more potent this season.

That was the case on Thursday night as the Islanders beat the Kings, 7-2, at Staples Center to snap a two-game losing streak.

Third-line center Valtteri Filppula scored twice to give him a team-high four goals and added an assist. Linemate Leo Komarov had a goal and an assist and fourth-liners Casey Cizikas and Matt Martin each added a goal.

“To be honest, all around we played well,’’ Filppula said. “Even the last game, all the lines had good chances. It’s nice to get a couple of goals, but all of our lines played well.”

Said coach Barry Trotz: “Coming into this year, we were saying, ‘Let’s fix a couple of areas of our game, let’s become a really good team, let’s be a four-line team.’ I have to trust that everybody can play. I have to trust that everybody can contribute. If we can do that, we’re going to be a hard team to play against. It helps with your pace that you don’t have to overextend guys. When your top guys aren’t scoring as much as you’d like them to, you get contributions up and down the lineup, and that’s what’s been happening.”

Robin Lehner made 28 saves for the Islanders (3-3-0) before exiting late in the third period after being hit in the mask with a shot. “I don’t have an update,” Trotz said afterward.

Among the top six, Andrew Ladd had a goal and two assists and Josh Bailey added a goal, with Eberle and Barzal having one assist each.

“I think that’s how we get success,” Ladd said. “I think we are a pretty deep team in terms of how we can come in terms of using our speed in terms of all four lines being able to get up the ice and put pressure on the defense and create that way. It was nice to get some goals tonight. Hopefully it will build some confidence in our offense and our overall confidence in our game.”

It marked the first time the Islanders scored at least three goals in Los Angeles — where the Kings had been 7-0-1 in their last eight home games against them — since a 3-2 win on Feb. 15, 2003. Former general manager Garth Snow was the winning goalie.

The Islanders took control with two third-period goals in a minute after Jeff Carter’s five-on-three power-play goal pulled the Kings (2-4-1) within 3-2 at 2:54. Ladd poked the puck up the left boards and fed Filppula on a two-on-none shorthanded rush for a goal at 3:40. Then Martin got free in the slot to convert Cizikas’ feed at 4:40. Komarov, at 9:20, and Ladd, at 11:34, continued the onslaught.

“It’s huge,” Cizikas said. “We know whenever we go out there and do the right thing, we’ll get the job done. Even when they had pressure, we weren’t panicking.”

The Kings played without Anze Kopitar (illness), marking the second straight night that the Islanders’ opponent was missing its No. 1 center. The Ducks’ Ryan Getzlaf sat out the Islanders’ 4-1 loss on Wednesday night.

“I thought we played well [Wednesday] as well,” Filppula said. “We just couldn’t score.”

Jonathan Quick stopped 23 shots for the Kings after missing the previous five games with a lower-body injury. He was pulled at 9:20 of the third period.

Trotz turned back to Lehner after Thomas Greiss made 21 saves in Wednesday night’s loss. Trotz said after that game, “We didn’t get a save when we needed it, unfortunately.”

He still is unsure whether Lehner or Greiss will establish himself as the clear No. 1 goalie.

“Once someone takes the bull by the horns and wants to run with it, I have no problem with that,” Trotz said. “In the past, I’ve had both scenarios. I’ve had two goalies who have shared the load and I’ve had a No. 1.”

Trotz also successfully flip-flopped the right wings on his top two lines, reuniting last season’s potent combination of Eberle on Barzal’s line with Ladd while Bailey moved to Brock Nelson’s line with captain Anders Lee.

The Islanders took a 1-0 lead at 4:55 of the first period as Cizikas, second on the team with three goals, won an offensive zone faceoff and got to the net to deposit the rebound of defenseman Scott Mayfield’s shot from the right point.

But the Kings, who started the season 0-for-22 on the power play, tied it at 1 on the man advantage on Tyler Toffoli’s deflection at 14:56 of the first period.

Bailey responded with a power-play goal at 3:43 of the second period and Filppula made it 3-1 at 12:07 of the second period after Ladd’s forecheck created a turnover deep in the Kings’ zone.


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