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Kings beat Islanders, 1-0

New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51), of

New York Islanders center Frans Nielsen (51), of Denmark, moves the puck as Los Angeles Kings' Sean O'Donnell (6) defends in the first period. (March 20, 2010) Credit: AP

LOS ANGELES - The likelihood of the Islanders pulling off a Northern Iowa-like upset in the Eastern Conference standings became even slimmer after their 1-0 loss to the Kings Saturday night.

The Islanders began their West Coast jaunt with optimism on the rise, but they did not return to New York with another victory to follow up on Tuesday's 5-2 win over 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, the Islanders came up short on all four of their power-play opportunities.

"They're a good team on the penalty kill and we had to battle for everything we got," John Tavares said. "We had a few opportunities but we couldn't cash in."

Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick earned his fourth shutout of the season, turning away 26 shots.

"He obviously got the best of us tonight," said his future brother-in-law, the Islanders' Matt Moulson.

Brad Richardson scored from the slot at 13:35 of the first period against a screened Dwayne Roloson. The Islanders looked lethargic in the period, managing only five shots on goal.

"With back-to-back games, we came out a little sluggish," Roloson said. "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."

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 - he rung one off the right post early in the game and later had a point-blank backhand attempt. Tavares almost assisted on the equalizer as well with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation when he crafted a pretty no-look feed to Kyle Okposo, but Okposo was denied in front by Quick.

Said Moulson, "We had one big mistake out there, it ended in the back of our net, and that was the game."

Notes & quotes: Quick, Moulson's friend and former teammate, will become his brother-in-law this summer. Quick's wife's sister is Moulson's fiancée.


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