The likelihood of the Islanders pulling off a Northern Iowa-like upset in the Eastern Conference standings looks even slimmer after a 1-0 loss to the Kings last night.
Despite beginning their West Coast jaunt with optimism on the rise, the Islanders did not return to New York with another road victory to follow up on Tuesday’s pivotal 5-2 win against Vancouver.
One night after letting a two-goal, third-period lead slip away in a 5-4 overtime loss to Anaheim, the Islanders fell victim to a punchless power-play against the Kings.
Despite a plethora of chances and a pristine 4-for-4 penalty killing effort on the other end, the Islanders came up short on all four power play opportunities of the game.
“They’re a good team on the penalty kill and we had to battle for everything we got,” said rookie John Tavares. “We had a few opportunities, but we couldn’t cash in.”
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick earned his fourth shutout of the season, turning away all 26 Islanders shots.
“He obviously got the best of us tonight,” said his future brother-in-law Matt Moulson.
Brad Richardson tallied from the slot at 13:35 against a screened Dwayne Roloson to give the Kings a 1-0 lead during a first period in which the Islanders looked lethargic and managed only five shots on goal.
“With back-to-back games we came out a little sluggish,” said Islanders netminder Dwayne Roloson. “For the most part, we played a great game, but in the first period we didn’t generate a lot and any opportunities we had either hit off the post or [Quick] made some great saves.”
Trailing by only one goal, the Islanders squandered three straight power-play opportunities throughout the next two periods and couldn’t convert any of their premium scoring chances.
Tavares was denied twice on prime opportunities—first as he rung one off the right post early in the game then on a point-blank backhand attempt later in the game. Tavares almost assisted on the equalizer as well with less than ten seconds to go in regulation when he crafted a pretty no-look feed to Okposo, but Okposo was denied in front by Quick to keep his shutout intact.
“We had one big mistake out there, it ended in the back of our net, and that was the game,” Moulson said.
Notes and Quotes: Quick is not only Matt Moulson’s friend and former teammate, he will also be his brother-in-law this summer. Quick’s wife is sisters with Moulson’s fiancée.
***Tavares, who skated toward the bench with an injury during the game, got clipped in the ear by Jrret Stoll's stick, but is fine.
***Roloson said he experienced some neck pain after getting barreled into in the crease, but felt good enough to remain in the game.
***Islanders fan and Entourage star Kevin Connolly came in to say hello to the team after the game