The Los Angeles Kings may have surprised some with last season’s
101-point effort. While that success has carried over to 2010-11,
the shock factor has worn off.
The Kings look to continue the best home start in franchise
history Saturday night when they face the New York Islanders,
losers of nine in a row.
Los Angeles (11-3-0) needed a tiebreaking third-period goal from
Justin Williams to earn a physical 3-1 victory over Dallas on
Thursday night. The Kings improved to 7-0-0 at home for the first
time since 1980-81 in a game that saw four fights and 91 penalty
Los Angeles won its fifth straight and seventh in eight games,
matching the 1974-75 Kings for the best start in team history with
22 points through 14 games.
Dustin Brown also scored to tie Williams for the team lead with
“Every team is coming in here expecting a hard game, and they’re
raising their games accordingly,” Brown said. “We’re not going to
catch anybody by surprise this year. If we’ve got to play a
physical game, we have big, strong guys who can answer the bell. I
think we can handle it.”
Jonathan Quick made 27 saves and improved to 9-1-0. His 1.58
goals-against average is among the best in the NHL.
Not far behind in that category is the Islanders’ Dwayne
Roloson, who despite a 2.10 GAA is 2-6-1. Roloson stopped 37 shots
but lost 2-1 to San Jose in a shootout Thursday.
New York (4-9-3) has totaled 13 goals during its nine-game skid,
scoring two or fewer goals in its last seven. The Islanders earned
a point for the first time since Oct. 21, when they beat Tampa Bay
3-2 for their last win.
“I guess that’s a positive, but close doesn’t cut it any more,”
Roloson said. “We have to stop the bleeding right now.”
The Islanders have lost nine straight for the first time since
dropping 10 in a row from Dec. 4-23, 2008.
“We played great but it’s tough,” said forward P.A. Parenteau,
who scored his fourth goal of the season Thursday. “It’s got to end
Saturday. It’s so important for us to score the first goal and get
a lead. We have to generate offense.”
Defenseman James Wisniewski leads New York with 12 points, but
has one assist in his last seven games. John Tavares hasn’t scored
a goal in seven straight.
The Kings have won the last five meetings – the last three by
one goal – but they will be without veterans Willie Mitchell and
Alexei Ponikarovsky, who are sidelined at least a month with
Defenseman Drew Doughty, who recently missed six games with a
concussion, appeared fine after taking a hard hit from the Stars’
Adam Burish. He is expected to play Saturday.
Quick is likely to start and boasts a 3-0-0 record and 1.30 GAA
versus New York.