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Oh, brother-in-law! Moulson takes on Quick

The Islanders' Matt Moulson looks to make a

The Islanders' Matt Moulson looks to make a play in front of the net while being closely watched by Senators goalie Brian Elliott at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa. (Nov. 4, 2010) Photo Credit: Getty Images

LOS ANGELES - Winless in nine games, the Islanders faced their toughest test of their three-game West Coast trip last night against the Western Conference-leading Kings.

And no one understood the caliber of Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick better than Matt Moulson - his brother-in-law.

Quick's wife, Jaclyn, and Moulson's wife, Alicia, are sisters. Quick entered last night's game with a 9-1-0 record, a 1.58 goals-against average and a .944 save percentage.

"He had a great year last year, too," Moulson said before the game. "Obviously, he's very athletic, very flexible, never gives up on the play. I'm not a goalie coach and I don't know the mechanics too well, but he seems to have good mechanics."

The two friends - now relatives by marriage - lived in the same Connecticut apartment complex and trained together during the summer. Moulson said Quick was dogged in his preparation for the season after playing 72 games in 2009-10.

"He made the biggest commitment to his conditioning, just training to make himself even better," Moulson said. "He played a lot of games last year and wanted to make sure he could play a lot this year."

Quick made his 11th start of the season last night against the struggling Islanders as he tried to lead his team to a franchise record-setting eight straight wins at home.

With his team desperate to find a win to halt a nine-game slump (0-8-1), Islanders coach Scott Gordon was well aware of the challenge Quick would present.

The 24-year-old netminder entered riding a six-game winning streak and had given up only six goals in the previous five games.

"He does an excellent job taking away the lower portion of the net," Gordon said. "He's one of the wider-based goalies, very similar to [Flyers rookie Sergei] Bobrovsky. His quickness side to side is what makes him effective. You've got to get traffic on him and make the most of opportunities to get one up high on him because he's not going to give up much down low."

Quick entered last night's game with a 3-0-0 career record against the Islanders with a 1.30 GAA and .950 save percentage.

The only Islander to score on Quick last season? You guessed it. Moulson buried a rebound for a third-period equalizer in the Islanders' 2-1 overtime loss to the Kings in October 2009. Quick beat the Islanders, 1-0, in the teams' second meeting of the season March 20.

With the must-win game approaching and bragging rights on the line - "We'll be hearing about it from our wives' family all summer," Moulson said - the Islander half of the combination seemed eager to put friendship and family aside for a night.

That said, Quick does not provide even a 30-goal scorer like Moulson many weaknesses to exploit.

"I don't know if I've quite figured him out," Moulson said. "I just try to get as many shots on him as possible."

Notes & quotes: C Rob Schremp returned to the lineup after being scratched the last two games . . . G Dwayne Roloson made his fifth straight start.

New York Sports