Kings-Islanders Preview

Neither the Los Angeles Kings nor the New York Islanders have

found much consistency lately.

Stringing together victories could prove even more difficult

moving forward without Jonathan Quick for the Kings, who turn to

Ben Scrivens in net Wednesday night when they visit the

Islanders.

Los Angeles (11-6-1) started its four-game trip in disappointing

fashion with a 3-2 shootout loss Tuesday at Buffalo, which had lost

nine of its last 11 games. Even though the Kings, who have split

their last six games, amassed a 45-17 advantage in shots, they

still needed a goal from Dwight King with 3:34 left in the third

period to force overtime and salvage a point.

The bigger loss might have been Quick, who left with 1:20

remaining in overtime with a lower-body injury. Scrivens played the

remainder of the game, only seeing shots in the shootout. Scrivens

is 1-1-0 with a 1.50 goals-against average in two starts.

“It’s obviously tough going into the game late like that and

going into the shootout but I’ve got to find a way to make a save

in the shootout there,” he said after failing to stop two of the

three attempts. “That’s my job.”

Quick is headed back to Los Angeles for further evaluation on

what is a hamstring or groin-related injury, according to the

team’s official website. The Kings recalled 23-year-old netminder

Marvin Jones from the AHL to back up Scrivens for the time

being.

Scrivens struggled in his only career start versus New York,

surrendering five goals on 25 shots in a 7-4 loss for the Maple

Leafs on Jan. 24.

The Islanders (7-9-3) were without Thomas Vanek for a second

straight game due to an upper-body injury on Tuesday but still

pulled out a 3-1 home victory over Nashville after going winless on

a four-game trip.

Goaltenders Kevin Poulin and Evgeni Nabokov had a difficult time

during that skid, combining for a 4.00 GAA. Poulin made 32 saves on

Tuesday and New York held the Predators scoreless on two power

plays after allowing eight power-play goals on 17 chances during

the road swing.

John Tavares pushed his team-leading point total to 22 with a

goal and an assist as the Islanders improved to 7-2-1 when scoring

at least three goals.

“‘I like that we got our speed going and put together a solid

team effort tonight,” Tavares said. “It was important that we came

home and played a strong game like this. Hopefully we can build on

it.”

The Kings could be an ideal opponent for Vanek to return

against, as he has seven points in his last five matchups with

them.

Nabokov is 3-0-0 with 0.99 goals-against average over his last

three starts versus Los Angeles.

The Kings’ Mike Richards, who has nine points in his last five

games, has 14 points in his last 14 games against the Islanders,

while Jeff Carter has two goals and two assists in his last three

meetings.

New York has won two straight in the series after dropping six

in a row.