Jones gets shutout, leads LA Kings past Isles

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Martin Jones made 16
saves to earn his first NHL shutout in his second career start, and Anze
Kopitar scored in the Los Angeles Kings’ 3-0 victory over the skidding
New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Dustin Brown also scored and Tyler
Toffoli added an empty-net goal for the Kings, who won their third
straight and have earned a point in 14 of 15 games since Nov. 2.

Jones followed up his victory over
Anaheim in his NHL debut with a perfect effort against the Islanders,
who have lost nine in a row.

Kevin Poulin stopped 21 shots for the
Islanders, on their longest losing streak since dropping a
franchise-record 14 straight in late 2010.

New York has lost nine straight road games since Nov. 1, getting outscored 38-14 during its longest road skid since 1998-99.

Jones was solid in his second straight
appearance in the Kings’ crease, easily handling most of the Islanders’
decent scoring chances. The longtime AHL goalie got his NHL career off
to a strong start last Tuesday, beating the Ducks 3-2 in overtime with
nine stops in a flawless shootout.

Jones spent the previous three weeks
backing up Ben Scrivens during Jonathan Quick’s absence with a long-term
groin injury, but has capitalized on a chance to challenge Scrivens for
playing time.

After a scoreless first period,
Islanders captain John Tavares set up his teammates for a pair of great
scoring chances during second-period power plays, but Thomas Vanek and
Brock Nelson both failed to capitalize. Josh Bailey missed his own
chance, clanging a backhand off the crossbar on a near-breakaway.

Kopitar finally got the Kings on the
board thanks to an exceptional long pass from Alec Martinez, who found
his Slovenian teammate lightly marked at the far blue line. Kopitar
slipped into the slot and used a slick move to score his eighth goal.
The Kings’ perennial leading scorer has 20 points in the last 22 games.

Brown added his sixth goal midway
through the third period, capitalizing on confusion behind Poulin to
gather the puck for an easy wraparound score. The Kings’ captain is
having a rough offensive season, but has scored goals in consecutive
games for the first time since late March.

New York dressed rookie C Nelson and scratched C Peter Regin, who had
missed just one game all season. Regin is scoreless in his last 17
games. Poulin made his first start in a week after Anders Nilsson played
the Isles’ last three games. … Los Angeles wore its purple-and-gold
throwback jerseys on a “Legends Night” honoring Hall of Fame defenseman
Larry Murphy, who set NHL records for most assists and points by a
rookie defenseman with the Kings in 1981. Murphy spent his first three
NHL seasons in Los Angeles before moving to Washington early in the
1983-84 season in an ill-advised trade. … The Kings open a four-game
trip Tuesday in Montreal. … New York has lost on the first two stops
of its five-game West Coast road swing.